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Parents as Teachers (PAT)®

In Brief

Evidence of Program Model Effectiveness

This program model meets the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model.”

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Program Model Description

The goal of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is to provide parents with child development knowledge and parenting support, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase children’s school readiness. The PAT model includes one-on-one home visits, monthly group meetings, developmental screenings, and linkages and connections for families to needed resources. Parent educators conduct the home visits using structured visit plans and guided planning tools. Local sites offer at least 12 hour-long home visits annually with more offered to higher-need families. PAT serves families for at least two years between pregnancy and kindergarten. PAT affiliate programs select the target population they plan to serve and the program duration. For more information, please read the Program Model Overview.

This report also includes a review of an adaptation to PAT called Parents as First Teachers (PAFT). The New Zealand Ministry of Social Development’s Family and Community Services created this adaptation of PAT to specifically meet the needs of their indigenous populations.

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Extent of Evidence

Results of Search and ReviewNumber of Studies for Parents as TeachersNumber of Studies for Parents as First Teachers (New Zealand)
Released from 1979 to 2012 6022
Eligible for review 235
     Rated high 20
     Rated moderate 32
     Rated low 133
     Additional sourcesa 50

aAdditional sources overlap with another study and are not rated.

For more information, see the study database. For more information on the criteria used to determine the study ratings, please read Producing Study Ratings.

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Summary of Findings



Parents as Teachers
Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness

Favorable: 7
No effect: 58
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 1

Favorable: 0
No effect: 1
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Child Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 1
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 16
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Family Economic Self-Sufficiency

Favorable: 1
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 38
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 2

Linkages and Referrals Not measured Not measured
Maternal Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 2
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 3
No effect: 43
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 4

Favorable: 0
No effect: 42
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Child Maltreatment

Favorable: 1
No effect: 2
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime Not measured Not measured

Parents as First Teachers (New Zealand)
Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness

Favorable: 0
No effect: 6
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 5
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Child Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 10
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Family Economic Self-Sufficiency

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 19
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 1

Linkages and Referrals Not measured Not measured
Maternal Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 1
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 0
No effect: 10
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Child Maltreatment Not measured Not measured
Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime Not measured Not measured

Please read Describing Effects for more information on these categories. Only results from studies that meet the standards for the high or moderate ratings are included above.

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Criteria Established by the Department of Health and Human Services

 Parents as TeachersParents as First Teachers (New Zealand)
Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
High- or moderate-quality impact study? YesYes
Across high- or moderate-quality studies, favorable impacts in…
 
   at least two outcome domains within one sample
 
   OR
 
   the same domain for at least two non-overlapping samples?
YesYes
Favorable impacts on full sample? YesNo
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after program enrollment?a YesNA
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?a YesNA

NA = not applicable.

aThis information is reported for all program models, but the requirements for sustained findings and inclusion in a peer-reviewed journal only apply to models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials.

Please read the DHHS Criteria for Evidence-Based Program Models for more information.

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Last Updated

July 2013

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