Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) Intervention Meets HHS Criteria

Last updated: April 2017

In Brief

Evidence of Model Effectiveness

This model meets the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model” for the general population, but does not meet the criteria for tribal populations.

View Revisions

Model Description

The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) Intervention is a training program for caregivers of infants and young children 6 to 48 months old, including high-risk birth parents and caregivers of young children in foster care, kinship care (such as a grandparent raising a grandchild), and adoptive care. The original ABC Intervention included both infants and toddlers. The model has since been organized into two versions: (1) ABC-Infant for children 6 to 24 months old, and (2) ABC-Toddler for children 24 to 48 months old. (The studies HomVEE reviewed for this report were based on the original ABC Intervention and included both infants and toddlers. The ABC-Infant and ABC-Toddler versions of the model have not been reviewed.) Parent coaches conduct 10 weekly home visits, approximately 60 minutes each. The model is designed to help caregivers provide nurturance even when children do not appear to need it, mutually responsive interactions in which caregivers follow children’s lead, and nonfrightening care. Parent coaches provide immediate feedback (referred to as “in the moment” comments) on the caregivers’ interaction with the child to help the caregivers attend to the target behaviors. The model also incorporates homework and video feedback. For more information, please read the Model Overview.

View Revisions

Extent of Evidence

Results of Research and Review
Number of studies
Eligible for review
Rated high
Rated moderate
Rated low
Additional source1

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

View Revisions

Summary of Findings

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.

View Revisions

Criteria Established by the Department of Health and Human Services

Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
High- or moderate-quality impact study?
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?
Favorable impacts on full sample?
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after model enrollment?1
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?1

Please read the HHS Criteria for Evidence-Based models for more information.

View Revisions