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Study Detail

Hoye, J., Asok, A., Bernard, K., Roth, T., Rosen, J., & Dozier, M. Intervening early to protect telomeres: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Unpublished manuscript.

Program(s) Reviewed: ABC

Study Screening Details

Screening DecisionScreening Conclusion
Study Passes ScreensEligible for Review

Study Design Details

RatingDesignAttritionBaseline EquivalenceReassignmentConfounding Factors
ModerateRandomized controlled trialLowEstablished on race; not established on SES.NoneNone

This rating applies to the randomized controlled trial portion of the study. In that portion, the authors also statistically controlled for baseline measures of the outcome variable. The study also included a comparison of the ABC intervention group to a nonrandomized group that did not receive ABC. The nonexperimental portion earned a low rating because the authors did not establish that the study groups were equivalent on SES or the outcome measure at baseline (although the groups were equivalent on race).

Study Characteristics

Study Participants International adoption agencies referred families for participation when the families adopted an international child. After consenting to participate, the families were randomly assigned to the treatment group, the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) or the control group, Developmental Education for Families (DEF). Families were invited to participate in the current study after participating in the intervention when the child was about 5 years old. The study recruited additional parents of internationally adopted children from adoption support agencies and online groups who were not assigned to groups through a randomized process. These families did not participate in any intervention. The comparison between the ABC group and the nonrandomized (NR) group is a quasi-experimental design. Children participated in the intervention when they were 27 months old and the study was conducted when they were 5 years old. All children in the study were adopted internationally. The highest percentage were adopted from Asian countries, but the sample also included children adopted from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central America. The final analytic sample consisted of 24 children in the ABC intervention group, 18 in the DEF comparison group, and 15 in the NR comparison group.
Setting Study participants lived within 100 miles of the University of Delaware.
Home Visiting Services The ABC intervention consisted of 10 sessions delivered for one hour each week in families’ homes. During sessions, a parent coach worked with parents to improve their nurturance (responsiveness to child distress) and sensitivity (ability to follow the child’s lead) by providing information about the benefits of these behaviors. The coach also guided parents through structured activities and used video feedback.
Comparison Condition In the DEF comparison condition, children received an intervention that focused on motor and language development rather than on parenting behaviors. Children in the NR comparison condition did not receive an intervention.
Staff Characteristics and Training Staff characteristics and training are not discussed in this study.
Funding Source The research was supported by Edna Bennett Pierce and by a National Institute of Mental Health grant (R01 MH084135) to M. Dozier.
Author Affiliation The authors are affiliated with the Infant Caregiver Project at the University of Delaware, which sponsors the ABC program model.

Study Registration Identifier: NCT00816621. Study registration was assessed by HomVEE beginning with the 2014 review.


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