The PALS model was designed to serve low-income mothers of infants and toddlers. The model consists of two curricula: an infant and a toddler version.
PALS enrolled 133 mother-infant pairs in the infant curriculum. To determine if the effects of the program differed depending upon birth status, the study recruited mothers of both full-term and very low birth weight infants. These families were then later recruited to participate in the toddler curriculum.
Upon enrollment in PALS, the mothers were an average of 28 years old. Fifty-five percent of the infants were female and two-thirds were born at very low birth weight. The infant curriculum was completed during the child’s first year, and the toddler curriculum was initiated when the children turned 2 years old.
The mothers who participated in the program were racially and ethnically diverse. Thirty-seven percent of mothers were African American, 34 percent were white, 27 percent were Hispanic, and 2 percent were other groups.
Mothers had completed an average of 12.6 years of education and their socioeconomic status ranged from upper-lower-class to lower-middle-class. Sixty-two percent of the study participants were single mothers.
Participation in PALS was voluntary.