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Study Detail

Wagner, M., & Spiker, D. (2001). Experiences and outcomes for children and families: Multisite Parents as Teachers evaluation. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Program(s) Reviewed: Parents as Teachers

Additional Sources:

Wagner, M. (2001). The multisite evaluation of the Parents as Teachers home visiting program. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Wagner, M., Spiker, D., & Linn, M. I. (2002). The effectiveness of the Parents as Teachers program with low-income parents and children. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 22(2), 67–81.

Study Screening Details

Screening DecisionScreening Conclusion
Study Passes ScreensEligible for Review

Study Design Details

RatingDesignAttritionBaseline EquivalenceReassignmentConfounding Factors
ModerateRandomized controlled trialHighEstablished on race/ethnicity, SES, and mother’s mental health.NoneNone

Study Characteristics

Study Participants

The sample presented here includes 667 mothers with children who were assessed at 1 and 2 years of age. Across three sites, families with a child up to 8 months of age were recruited for enrollment in the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program. At the time of enrollment, mothers had an average education level of just over 12 years. Most study participants were African American (58%) or white (29%). The majority of households enrolled had an annual income of less than $15,000 (60%). Twenty-nine percent of children in the sample had two married parents.


Three local PAT programs participated in the evaluation: the first was located in an Eastern Seaboard rural community, the second was located in a mid-size Southern city, and the third was located in a large Western city.

Home Visiting Services

Families enrolled in PAT received monthly home visits and other program services for as long as they remained in the program, up to the child’s third birthday. Among those families enrolled in PAT , 44% participated and remained in the program through the child’s second birthday (68% at Site 1, 35% at Site 2, and 31% at Site 3).

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 by the PAT national staff at the certified training center during a weeklong session.

Funding Source

National Institute of Early Childhood Development and Education of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education; the Smith Richardson Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Author Affiliation

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


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