Keywords: Internet | Early Intervention
Presentation Type: Symposium
Early parenting home-visiting interventions have been found to be highly effective in promoting child development. The Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) program is a good example of an empirically-supported media-enhanced home visiting intervention. 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, especially in distal areas. The purpose of this paper is present results from an RCT of an Internet-adaption of PALS with mothers (N = 159) of infants living in KS, MO and OR were randomized to either the 11-session, Internet-facilitated parenting intervention (ePALS Baby-Net) or to an Internet-facilitated attention control condition: developmental awareness intervention (DAS). Our sample of low-income participants was diverse with a large number of Hispanic/Latina mothers (38.7 %). Approximately half had a high-school diploma or less but 84% reported being moderately or very comfortable using a computer and half had a computer at home. Across conditions, participants spent an equivalent amount of time online. Mothers in the experimental condition spent an average of 9.40 hours (SD=6.81) and in the control condition spent an average of 9.32 hours (SD=5.33) in the program website across all sessions. Baby-Net participants when compared to DAS participants, particularly when viewing higher intervention dosage, demonstrated significantly greater increases in maternal parenting knowledge (large effect) and observed language-supportive parenting behaviors (medium effect) with a correlated positive change in infant language behaviors (small effect). Results suggest that the Baby-Net program is effective as a remotely delivered intervention for economically disadvantaged families to strengthen early parenting behaviors that promote infant social communication.The inaccessibility and underutilization of empirically supported mental health and other support services by families, is currently a significant and growing public health concern encouraging the adaptation for easy access for preventive services. Implications for dissemination will be explored.
Senior Research Scientist
Oregon Research Institute
Friday, November 17
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
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