Raby, K. L., Freedman, E., Yarger, H. A., Lind, T., & Dozier, M. (2018). Enhancing the language development of toddlers in foster care by promoting foster parents’ sensitivity: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Developmental Science, 22(2), e12753. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12753
Foster parents of children ages 24 to 36 months were referred to the study by the State of Delaware Division of Family Services. A total of 205 families were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive ABC-Toddler or a comparison home visiting model. This study focused on 88 parent-child dyads that participated in a post-intervention assessment of children’s receptive vocabulary. Most participating foster parents were females who identified as African American (47 percent) or Caucasian (42 percent). More than half had a household income of at least $60,000. Children were predominately African American (49 percent) or Caucasian (29 percent) who had been with their foster parent for almost three years at follow-up.
ABC-Toddler, a manualized intervention, aimed to increase parent sensitivity and receptivity for children ages 24 to 48 months. Parent coaches delivered 10 hour-long sessions in foster parents’ homes. Parent coaches observed and provided “in the moment” feedback on parent-child interactions.
Comparison families received Developmental Education for Families (DEF) in home visits that were of the same duration and intensity (10 hour-long sessions) as ABC-Toddler. DEF was designed to enhance cognitive and linguistic development. For this study, DEF was adapted to exclude components related to parent sensitivity and receptivity to distinguish it from ABC-Toddler.
Coaches for each intervention had similar levels of education. Coaches were recruited and trained in either ABC-Toddler or DEF based on their preferences and skill sets and were supervised by model experts. All sessions with families were video recorded and discussed during weekly supervision meetings.
This research was supported by Award Number R01MH052135 from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01261806. Study registration was assessed by HomVEE beginning with the 2014 review.
Raby, K. L., Freedman, E., Yarger, H. A., Lind, T., & Dozier, M. (2018). Enhancing the language development of toddlers in foster care by promoting foster parentsâ€™ sensitivity: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Developmental Science,