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Landry, S. H., Smith, K. E., Swank, P. R., & Guttentag, C. (2008). A responsive parenting intervention: The optimal timing across early childhood for impacting maternal behaviors and child outcomes. Developmental Psychology, 44(5), 1335-1353.

Model(s) Reviewed: Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) Infant , PALS Infant + Toddler/Preschooler , PALS Toddler/Preschooler
Study Screening Details
Screening Decision Screening Conclusion
Study Passes Screens Study Passes Screens
Study Design Details
Rating Design Attrition Baseline Equivalence Reassignment Confounding Factors
High Randomized controlled trial Low Established on race and socioeconomic status None None
Study Characteristics
Study Participants The study included mother-infant pairs who had participated in an earlier study by Landry et al. (2006) in which they had been randomly assigned to PALS I (PALS Infant) or a Development Assessment of Skills (DAS) group. For the current study, they were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups: PALS II (PALS Toddler/Preschooler) or another DAS comparison group, stratified by whether they had initially received PALS I or DAS. Thus, some received PALS I only, some received PALS II only, some received both PALS I and II, and the remaining pairs received DAS home visits only. According to information provided by the first author, initially 169 mother infant pairs were randomly assigned, 85 to the treatment groups and 84 to the comparison group. After attrition, 166 mother-infant pairs (84 PALS and 82 DAS) remained in the study. Approximately one-third of each group was African American, Hispanic, or Caucasian. Most were poor and unmarried. Mothers were all 18 years old or older at intake into the original study and averaged approximately 30 years old. On average, mothers had 12 or more years of education in both groups. Participants were followed over the course of 11 visits.
Setting The study was conducted in the Houston-Galveston (Texas) area.
Home Visiting Services PALS II was adapted from the PALS I curriculum to target similar responsive behaviors for toddlers plus an additional session targeting behavioral guidance. PALS II consists of a series of 11 home visits, each lasting 1.5 hours and occurring approximately weekly. The home visits are guided by a curriculum that included (1) asking mothers to review their experiences across the past week related to their efforts to try targeted behaviors, (2) describing the current visit’s targeted behavior, (3) watching and discussing with mothers the educational videotape of mothers from similar backgrounds, (4) videotaping mothers interacting with their infants in situations that the mothers selected with coaching, (5) supporting mothers to critique their behaviors and the infants’ responses during the videotaped practice, and (6) planning with mothers how to integrate responsive behaviors into their everyday activities with laminated cards. The facilitator coached the mothers to use the targeted behaviors, including commenting on the infants’ responses when the behaviors were used. Sessions were available in both English and Spanish.
Comparison Conditions Comparison group members received the same number of home visits from facilitators, which included discussions about new infant skills during the previous week and infant development and assessment. Facilitators provided mothers with answers to and handouts about their questions on infant skill development.
Staff Characteristics and Training Facilitators, who had bachelor’s or master’s degrees, were trained to use the curriculum in a flexible manner to meet the learning needs of individual families. Training included review of videotaped facilitated sessions and coaching by a supervisor.
Funding Sources Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Grant HD36099.
Author Affiliation Susan Landry, a study author, is a developer of this model.

Study Effects Details

Outcome domain: Child Development and School Readiness Outcome Effects
Rating Outcome Measure Effect Sample Timing of Follow-up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Group Difference Effect size Statistical significance Outcome Type Notes
High PPVT-III receptive vocabulary
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.18 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PLS: auditory comprehension
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.12 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PLS: expressive comprehension
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 1.21 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Cooperation
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.09 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Coordinating attention and words
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.26 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Positive affect (of child with mother)
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.18 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Social engagement
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.18 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Use of words
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.08 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PPVT-III receptive vocabulary
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.28 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PLS: auditory comprehension
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.94 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PLS: expressive comprehension
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.30 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Cooperation
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.21 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Coordinating attention and words
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.13 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Positive affect (of child with mother)
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.19 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Social engagement
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.25 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Use of words
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.15 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PPVT-III receptive vocabulary
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.37 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.36 Statistically significant, p < .05 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

High PLS: auditory comprehension
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -1.56 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High PLS: expressive comprehension
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.92 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Cooperation
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.38 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.30 Statistically significant, p = .04 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

High Coordinating attention and words
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.09 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Positive affect (of child with mother)
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.17 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Social engagement
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.44 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.32 Statistically significant, p < .01 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

High Use of words
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.42 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.37 Statistically significant, p < .01 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

Outcome domain: Positive Parenting Practices Outcome Effects
Rating Outcome Measure Effect Sample Timing of Follow-up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Group Difference Effect size Statistical significance Outcome Type Notes
High Contingent responsiveness
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.51 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Maintaining child foci
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.06 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.32 Statistically significant, p = 0.04 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

High Positive affect (of mother with child)
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.34 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Redirecting child foci
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.52 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Statistically significant, p < 0.05 Primary

footnote144

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Positive coefficient values indicate an unfavorable outcome.

High Verbal encouragement
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.60 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Verbal scaffolding
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.10 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Warm sensitivity
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.35 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.29 Statistically significant, p = 0.02 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

High Contingent responsiveness
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.64 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.51 Statistically significant, p = 0.02 Primary
High Maintaining child foci
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.00 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Positive affect (of mother with child)
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.26 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Redirecting child foci
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.61 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.39 Statistically significant, p = 0.01 Primary

footnote145

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values indicate a favorable outcome.

High Verbal encouragement
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.08 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Verbal scaffolding
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.06 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Warm sensitivity
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS I and PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.34 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Contingent responsiveness
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.52 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Maintaining child foci
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.03 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Positive affect (of mother with child)
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.15 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Redirecting child foci
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = 0.42 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Verbal encouragement
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.41 Not applicable Not Reported Study reported = 0.25 Statistically significant, p =.01 Primary

footnote143

Submitted by user on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 14:29

Negative coefficient values favor the intervention group.

High Verbal scaffolding
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.13 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary
High Warm sensitivity
FavorableUnfavorableNo Effect
PALS II 3 months after program end 166 mother/child dyads growth curve coefficient = -0.37 Not applicable Not Reported Not available Not statistically significant, p ≥ 0.05 Primary

Study Outcome Measure Summary

Outcome Domain: Child Development and School Readiness Outcome Measures
Rating Outcome Measure Description of measure Data collection method Properties of measure Outcome Type
High

PPVT-III receptive vocabulary

The PPVT -III assesses individual's receptive language skill. Raw scores were used in the analysis. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PPVT-III receptive vocabulary

The PPVT -III assesses individual's receptive language skill. Raw scores were used in the analysis. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PPVT-III receptive vocabulary

The PPVT -III assesses individual's receptive language skill. Raw scores were used in the analysis. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PLS: auditory comprehension

The PLS assesses receptive and expressive language development. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PLS: auditory comprehension

The PLS assesses receptive and expressive language development. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PLS: auditory comprehension

The PLS assesses receptive and expressive language development. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PLS: expressive comprehension

The PLS assesses receptive and expressive language development. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

PLS: expressive comprehension

The PLS assesses receptive and expressive language development. Child assessment

Not reported by author

Primary
High

Cooperation

The frequency with which the child attempted to respond to his/her mother's request for an action or verbalization. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.62

Primary
High

Cooperation

The frequency with which the child attempted to respond to his/her mother's request for an action or verbalization. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.62

Primary
High

Cooperation

The frequency with which the child attempted to respond to his/her mother's request for an action or verbalization. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.62

Primary
High

Coordinating attention and words

The frequency with which the child was able to direct his/her mother's attention to an object using words. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.68

Primary
High

Coordinating attention and words

The frequency with which the child was able to direct his/her mother's attention to an object using words. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.68

Primary
High

Coordinating attention and words

The frequency with which the child was able to direct his/her mother's attention to an object using words. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.68

Primary
High

Positive affect (of child with mother)

The frequency with which the child displayed smiles or laughter during the interaction with his/her mother. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.85

Primary
High

Positive affect (of child with mother)

The frequency with which the child displayed smiles or laughter during the interaction with his/her mother. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.85

Primary
High

Positive affect (of child with mother)

The frequency with which the child displayed smiles or laughter during the interaction with his/her mother. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.85

Primary
High

Social engagement

The degree to which the child tried to positively engage his/her mother using verbal and non-verbal communication. The interaction was coded on a 5-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.65

Primary
High

Social engagement

The degree to which the child tried to positively engage his/her mother using verbal and non-verbal communication. The interaction was coded on a 5-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.65

Primary
High

Social engagement

The degree to which the child tried to positively engage his/her mother using verbal and non-verbal communication. The interaction was coded on a 5-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.65

Primary
High

Use of words

The frequency with which the child communicated verbally with his/her mother during the interaction. Communication included single utterance sound, babbling with sentence like intonation, word approximation-single words, two- to three-word phrases, four- to five-word phrases, and six or more word phrases. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.68

Primary
High

Use of words

The frequency with which the child communicated verbally with his/her mother during the interaction. Communication included single utterance sound, babbling with sentence like intonation, word approximation-single words, two- to three-word phrases, four- to five-word phrases, and six or more word phrases. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.68

Primary
High

Use of words

The frequency with which the child communicated verbally with his/her mother during the interaction. Communication included single utterance sound, babbling with sentence like intonation, word approximation-single words, two- to three-word phrases, four- to five-word phrases, and six or more word phrases. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.68

Primary
Outcome Domain: Positive Parenting Practices Outcome Measures
Rating Outcome Measure Description of measure Data collection method Properties of measure Outcome Type
High

Contingent responsiveness

The degree to which a mother responded promptly and appropriately to her infant's cues, rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Contingent responsiveness

The degree to which a mother responded promptly and appropriately to her infant's cues, rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Contingent responsiveness

The degree to which a mother responded promptly and appropriately to her infant's cues, rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Maintaining child foci

The frequency with which the mother's behavior helped to sustain her child's current activity. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.81

Primary
High

Maintaining child foci

The frequency with which the mother's behavior helped to sustain her child's current activity. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.81

Primary
High

Maintaining child foci

The frequency with which the mother's behavior helped to sustain her child's current activity. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.81

Primary
High

Positive affect (of mother with child)

The degree to which the mother smiled and laughed during the interaction, rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Positive affect (of mother with child)

The degree to which the mother smiled and laughed during the interaction, rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Positive affect (of mother with child)

The degree to which the mother smiled and laughed during the interaction, rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Redirecting child foci

The frequency with which the mother's interaction was unrelated to her child's current activity in an attempt to redirect the child's attention. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.77

Primary
High

Redirecting child foci

The frequency with which the mother's interaction was unrelated to her child's current activity in an attempt to redirect the child's attention. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.77

Primary
High

Redirecting child foci

The frequency with which the mother's interaction was unrelated to her child's current activity in an attempt to redirect the child's attention. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.77

Primary
High

Verbal encouragement

The frequency with which the mother praised her infant's efforts. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.78

Primary
High

Verbal encouragement

The frequency with which the mother praised her infant's efforts. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.78

Primary
High

Verbal encouragement

The frequency with which the mother praised her infant's efforts. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.78

Primary
High

Verbal scaffolding

The frequency with which the mother provided verbal hints and prompts. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.64

Primary
High

Verbal scaffolding

The frequency with which the mother provided verbal hints and prompts. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.64

Primary
High

Verbal scaffolding

The frequency with which the mother provided verbal hints and prompts. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.64

Primary
High

Warm sensitivity

The degree to which the mother was warm and sensitive in her interactions with her infant (e.g., accepting of the infant's needs and interests), rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Warm sensitivity

The degree to which the mother was warm and sensitive in her interactions with her infant (e.g., accepting of the infant's needs and interests), rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary
High

Warm sensitivity

The degree to which the mother was warm and sensitive in her interactions with her infant (e.g., accepting of the infant's needs and interests), rated on a five-point scale. Videotaped observation

Interrater reliability = 0.74

Primary