Randomized Control Trial of an Internet-Based Parenting Intervention for Mothers of Infants
By Feil E, Baggett K, Davis B, Landry S, Sheeber L, Leve C, Johnson U
Early parenting home-visiting interventions have been found to be highly effective in promoting child development. Yet, there are many obstacles in the implementation of home-visiting programs, including travel and access to trained providers. Internet-based interventions can reach many parents of infants to overcome these barriers. The objective of this randomized control trial was to evaluate the impact of the Internet-adaptation of the Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) program, a preventive intervention program to strengthen effective parenting practices that promote early language, cognitive, and social development. Mothers in low-income environments (N = 164) of infants were randomized to either (a) an Internet-facilitated PALS parenting intervention or (b) an Internet-facilitated attention control condition. Measures included direct observations of maternal behavior with her infant, questionnaires about maternal functioning and parenting knowledge, and real-time program usage. Experimental participants demonstrated significantly greater increases in parenting knowledge and observed language-supportive parenting behaviors with a correlated positive change in infant language behaviors. Effects were pronounced when participants received a greater dosage of the intervention. Results suggest that the Internet-based translation of the PALS program is effective as a remotely delivered intervention for economically disadvantaged families to strengthen early parenting behaviors that promote infant social communication and child language development.
February 11, 2019
Feil E, Baggett K, Davis B, Landry S, Sheeber L, Leve C, Johnson U (2018) Randomized Control Trial of an Internet-Based Parenting Intervention for Mothers of Infants. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.11.003