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Study Detail

Wagner, M., Cameto, R., & Gerlach-Downie, S. (1996). Intervention in support of adolescent parents and their children: A final report on the Teen Parents as Teachers Demonstration. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Program(s) Reviewed: Parents as Teachers

Additional Sources:

Wagner, M. & Clayton, S. (1999). The Parents as Teachers program: Results from two demonstrations. The Future of Children, 9(1), 91-115.

Study Screening Details

Screening DecisionScreening Conclusion
Study Passes ScreensEligible for Review

Study Design Details

RatingDesignAttritionBaseline EquivalenceReassignmentConfounding Factors
ModerateRandomized controlled trialHighEstablished on race/ethnicity, and SES. Lack of equivalence on baseline contraceptive use and experience with infants.YesNone

Study Characteristics

Study Participants

Four sites in California recruited 717 teens to participate in the study. Teens were eligible if they (1) were less than 19 years of age, and (2) were pregnant or had babies younger than 6 months. Teens were randomly assigned to four conditions: (1) PAT , (2) case management, (3) PAT plus case management, or (4) control group. The HomVEE report focuses on the comparison between PAT and the control group. At enrollment, over half of the mothers were Latina (56%), 20% were African American, 21% were white, and the remainder were classified as “other” race/ethnicity. The average age was 16.7 years, and approximately 30% had dropped out of high school. Follow-ups were conducted around the time of the child’s 1- and 2-year birthdays.


The study was conducted in four sites: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Santa Barbara. The sponsoring agencies at the sites included three youth-serving organizations and one partnership between a local YWCA and the county health department.

Home Visiting Services

Families enrolled in PAT received monthly home visits and group meetings for as long as they remained in the program, up to the child’s second birthday. During the home visits, parent educators provided lessons using the PAT curriculum. Families received 10 visits on average over the two-year period. The study indicates that the PAT services began to “blend” with the case management services, even though this was designed to be a separate condition in the study. For example, some parent educators addressed family planning and postponing subsequent pregnancies, which was a focus of case management, but not part of the PAT curriculum.

Comparison Condition

The comparison families received only the services that were normally available in the community and that they sought of their own accord. In addition, they received age-appropriate toys at regular quarterly intervals, which were used as a means of tracking their locations.

Staff Characteristics and Training

Parent educators were trained in weeklong sessions held at authorized training sites.

Funding Source

Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the California Department of Social Services; Center for the Future of Children of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and the Stuart Foundation.

Author Affiliation

None of the study authors are developers of this program model.


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