The Effects of Home Visiting on Mother-Child Interactions: Evidence from a Randomised Trial Using Dynamic Micro-Level Data

32 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2020

See all articles by Gabriella Conti

Gabriella Conti

University of Chicago

Stavros Poupakis

University of Oxford

Malte Sandner

Leibniz Universität Hannover

Sören Kliem

Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN)

Abstract

Background: Home visiting programs constitute an important policy to support vulnerable families with young children. They mainly aim to improve infant-parent relationships, however evidence on their effectiveness based on observational measures is relatively scarce. The present study provides the rare opportunity to directly examine the effects of a home visiting program, the Pro Kind, on mother-child interactions in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Methods: A sample of 109 mother-child dyads was videotaped during a 3-min typical play situation at the participants' homes when the child was aged 25 months. We use a novel micro-coding system which allows us to examine how the intervention affected the dynamic feedback responses of both mothers and children in three key measures of behavior: orientation, positive contingency, and negative/lack of contingency. The study is registered in the German Clinical Trial Register (trial ID: DRKS00007554, date of registration: 11 June 2015). Results: The intervention significantly improved the interactions between girls and their mothers, both in strongly stable and partly unstable situations. Mixed impacts were detected for boys. Conclusions: These results have important implications for the analysis of mother-child interactions data and the design of home visiting programs.

Keywords: home visiting, mother-child interactions, randomized controlled trial

JEL Classification: I14, J13, J24

Suggested Citation

Conti, Gabriella and Poupakis, Stavros and Sandner, Malte and Kliem, Sören, The Effects of Home Visiting on Mother-Child Interactions: Evidence from a Randomised Trial Using Dynamic Micro-Level Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12937. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534485

Gabriella Conti (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Stavros Poupakis

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Malte Sandner

Leibniz Universität Hannover ( email )

Welfengarten 1
D-30167 Hannover, 30167
Germany

Sören Kliem

Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN)

Lützerodestr. 9
D-30161 Hanover
Germany

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