Parent-Child Interaction Outcomes

The Core of the Parent-Child Home Program: Verbal Interaction

One of the most fundamental elements of the Parent-Child Home Program is that there is an important link between a toddler’s intellectual and social-emotional development and parent-child verbal interaction. The Program’s central concept is that by promoting parent-child interaction, fostering conversation in the context of the parent-child relationship, critical emergent literacy and school readiness skills can be developed in the home.

The Parent-Child Home Program, a national, evidence-based early childhood home visiting program, focuses on:

  • Building positive parent-child verbal and non-verbal interaction;
  • Promoting positive parenting skills;
  • Enhancing the child’s conceptual and social-emotional development;
  • Developing pre-literacy skills that are essential for school readiness; and
  • Creating language-rich home environments

Our research has consistently demonstrated that parents who participate in the Program exhibit more and consistent positive interaction and affect toward their children. Studies have consistently documented from pre- to post-program participation an increase in warm, responsive, and steady routines and interactions. High quality research has also consistently documented that children who participate in the Program enter school with the requisite social-emotional skills (e.g. impulse control and attention to tasks) to be successful in a classroom environment.

Parent-Child Home Program research has consistently demonstrated that Program participants out-perform at-risk control or comparison groups on various cognitive measures. Studies have also shown that participants have closed the achievement gap with middle-class children. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated cognitive benefits for toddlers immediately after Program participation. Follow-up studies at third grade showed long-term gains in intellectual abilities (e.g. math and reading achievement). More recent quasi-experimental studies have shown higher rates of school readiness among former Program participants than their counterparts in a comparison group; and a subject- randomized controlled trial has demonstrated higher high school graduation rates for Program children than those in their school district and nationally.

Parent-Child Interaction

  • In randomized controlled trials, The Parent-Child Home Program had significant ongoing positive effects on participating parents’ interaction with their children, in contrast to control group families examined before, immediately after, and two years after completion of the Program. Program parents’ verbal interaction with their children showed a lasting superiority over that of the control group, and this parent-child interaction correlated with children’s first grade cognitive and social emotional skills.1
  • Multiple studies show that families participating in The Parent-Child Home Program talk more and have more positive interactions with their children.2
  • Parent-Child Home Program participants engage in more educational activities at home and in their communities.3
  • Parents who participate in the Program exhibit more and consistent positive interaction and affect toward their children.4
  • Children who participate in the Program enter school with the requisite social-emotional skills (e.g. impulse control and attention to tasks).5
  • Programs participants out-perform at-risk control or comparison groups on various cognitive measures and have often closed the achievement gap with middle-class children.6

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Notes:
1. Madden, J., O’Hara, J. M., & Levenstein, P. (1984). Home again. Child Development, 55, 636-647.
2. Madden, J., O’Hara, J. M., & Levenstein, P. (1984). Home again. Child Development, 55, 636-647.
3. See annotated bibliography available at www.parent-child.org
4. See annotated bibliography available at www.parent-child.org
5. Allen, L., Sethi, A., & Astuto, J. (2007). An evaluation of graduates of a toddlerhood home visiting program at kindergarten age. NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field 10(1), 36–57.
6. Allen, L., Sethi, A., & Astuto, J. (2007). An evaluation of graduates of a toddlerhood home visiting program at kindergarten age. NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field 10(1), 36–57.