Lind, T., Bernard, K., Yarger, H. A., & Dozier, M. (2019). Promoting compliance in children referred to child protective services: A randomized clinical trial. Child Development. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13207
This randomized controlled trial (RCT) assigned eligible families to either ABC-Infant or a comparison program that also included home visits. Eligible families were participants in a foster care diversion program with children younger than 2 who were referred from Child Protective Services for various issues placing children at risk (for example, domestic violence, parental substance use, homelessness, or neglect). At the 36 month follow-up, the analytic sample consisted of 101 mother-child dyads (45 in the ABC-Infant group and 56 in the comparison group). In the analytic sample, 69 percent of children were African American, 6 percent were White, 11 percent were Hispanic, and 14 percent were biracial. All caregiver participants in the study were biological mothers, 70 percent of whom were African American, 9 percent White, 14 percent Hispanic, and 7 percent biracial. The majority of the caregivers had less than a high school degree (58 percent) and most (64 percent) reported an annual income of less than $10,000.
The study was conducted in a large mid-Atlantic city.
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 families received Developmental Education for Families (DEF) in home visits that were 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.
The staff in both groups were selected based on their experience in working with children and their interpersonal skills.
This research was supported by Award Numbers R01MH052135, R01MH074374, and R01MH084135 from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02093052. Study registration was assessed by HomVEE beginning with the 2014 review.