Yarger, H. A. (2018). Investigating longitudinal pathways to dysregulation: The role of anomalous parenting behavior (Publication No. 2130944494) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Delaware]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Citation Year
Used in Implementation Reports
Study Participants

Agencies contracted by a mid-Atlantic city’s child welfare agency referred families to the study who were identified as being at risk for child removal and placement into foster care and had substantiated or unsubstantiated reports of maltreatment. Parent-child dyads were randomly assigned to receive ABC-Infant or an alternate home visiting intervention. A total of 109 parent-child dyads were included in the study (52 in the ABC-Infant group and 57 in the comparison group). Children ranged in age from 2 to 21 months. Ninety-six percent of parents in the study were female. The majority (63 percent) of parents identified as African American and 21 percent identified as Hispanic. Household income was less than $10,000 for 66 percent of families.


The study took place in a large mid-Atlantic city.

Home Visiting Services

ABC-Infant consisted of 10 weekly hour-long home visits. The sessions focused on five topic areas: providing nurturance, following the child’s lead, refraining from frightening behavior, parents recognizing the effect of their own childhood experiences on their parenting behavior, and learning the importance of touch and children’s emotions. Across all sessions, parent trainers engaged parents in structured activities with their children and then provided feedback on observations of participants’ parenting behavior, both in real-time and by playing back video recordings from the sessions. 

Comparison Conditions

Comparison families received Developmental Education for Families (DEF) in home visits that were of the same duration (10 hour-long sessions) and frequency (weekly) as ABC-Infant. DEF was designed to enhance cognitive and linguistic development. For this study, the components related to following children’s cues were removed to distinguish it from ABC-Infant.

Staff Characteristics and Training

The staff in both groups were selected based on their experience in working with children and their interpersonal skills.

Author Affiliation

The author’s dissertation advisor is Mary Dozier, who is a developer of the ABC home visiting model.

Funding Sources

Not reported.

Study Reg

Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02093052. Study registration was assessed by HomVEE beginning with the 2014 review.

Confounding Factors
Baseline Equivalence
Established on race/ethnicity and SES; outcomes not feasible to assess at baseline
Screening Decision
Passes screens