Bernard, K., Frost, A., Jelinek, C., & Dozier, M. (2019). Secure attachment predicts lower body mass index in young children with histories of child protective services involvement. Pediatric Obesity, 14(7), e12510. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12510

Citation Year
Used in Implementation Reports
Study Participants

Participants were recruited through referrals by Child Protective Service agencies. After receiving parental consent, children were randomized to either ABC-Infant or the comparison condition, which also provided home visits. Sixty-three percent of children in the analytic sample identified as African American, 20 percent as biracial or multiracial, 9 percent as Hispanic, and 8 percent as Caucasian. Among parents reporting income data, 93 percent reported incomes below the poverty level. The average maternal age at the child’s birth was 28, and children were younger than 24 months at the time of referral.


Newark, Delaware

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, components related to parental sensitivity were excluded.

Staff Characteristics and Training

Trained parent coaches conducted home visits and participated in weekly group supervision, including video review by a trained supervisor.

Author Affiliation

Mary Dozier is a developer of the ABC home visiting program model.

Funding Sources

This research was supported in part by Award Numbers R01MH052135, R01MH074374, and R01MH084135 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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; outcome not feasible to assess at baseline
Screening Decision
Passes screens