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Enhancing the early home learning environment through a brief group parenting intervention: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial

Nicholson, Jan M., Cann, Warren, Matthews, Jan, Berthelsen, Donna, Ukoumunne, Obioha C., Trajanovska, Misel, Bennetts, Shannon K., Hillgrove, Tessa, Hamilton, Victoria, Westrupp, Elizabeth and Hackworth, Naomi J. 2016, Enhancing the early home learning environment through a brief group parenting intervention: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial, BMC pediatrics, vol. 16, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1186/s12887-016-0610-1.

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Title Enhancing the early home learning environment through a brief group parenting intervention: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial
Author(s) Nicholson, Jan M.
Cann, Warren
Matthews, Jan
Berthelsen, Donna
Ukoumunne, Obioha C.
Trajanovska, Misel
Bennetts, Shannon K.
Hillgrove, Tessa
Hamilton, Victoria
Westrupp, Elizabeth
Hackworth, Naomi J.
Journal name BMC pediatrics
Volume number 16
Article ID 73
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1471-2431
Keyword(s) Cluster randomised controlled trial
Early childhood
Home coaching
Home learning environment
Parenting group intervention
Playgroups
Socioeconomic disadvantage
Australia
Child Development
Child, Preschool
Clinical Protocols
Early Intervention (Education)
Education, Nonprofessional
Female
Follow-Up Studies
Humans
Infant
Intention to Treat Analysis
Learning
Male
Parenting
Poverty
Social Environment
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Pediatrics
YOUNG CHILDRENS DEVELOPMENT
EARLY-CHILDHOOD
COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENT
SOCIOECONOMIC-STATUS
SHORT-FORM
LANGUAGE
COMMUNICATION
RELIABILITY
VALIDITY
PROGRAM
Summary BACKGROUND: The quality of the home learning environment has a significant influence on children's language and communication skills during the early years with children from disadvantaged families disproportionately affected. This paper describes the protocol and participant baseline characteristics of a community-based effectiveness study. It evaluates the effects of 'smalltalk', a brief group parenting intervention (with or without home coaching) on the quality of the early childhood home learning environment.

METHODS/DESIGN: The study comprises two cluster randomised controlled superiority trials (one for infants and one for toddlers) designed and conducted in parallel. In 20 local government areas (LGAs) in Victoria, Australia, six locations (clusters) were randomised to one of three conditions: standard care (control); smalltalk group-only program; or smalltalk plus (group program plus home coaching). Programs were delivered to parents experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage through two existing age-based services, the maternal and child health service (infant program, ages 6-12 months), and facilitated playgroups (toddler program, ages 12-36 months). Outcomes were assessed by parent report and direct observation at baseline (0 weeks), post-intervention (12 weeks) and follow-up (32 weeks). Primary outcomes were parent verbal responsivity and home activities with child at 32 weeks. Secondary outcomes included parenting confidence, parent wellbeing and children's communication, socio-emotional and general development skills. Analyses will use intention-to-treat random effects ("multilevel") models to account for clustering.

RECRUITMENT AND BASELINE DATA: Across the 20 LGAs, 986 parents of infants and 1200 parents of toddlers enrolled and completed baseline measures. Eighty four percent of families demonstrated one or more of the targeted risk factors for poor child development (low income; receives government benefits; single, socially isolated or young parent; culturally or linguistically diverse background).

DISCUSSION: This study will provide unique data on the effectiveness of a brief group parenting intervention for enhancing the early home learning environment of young children from disadvantaged families. It will also provide evidence of the extent to which additional one-on-one support is required to achieve change and whether there are greater benefits when delivered in the 1st year of life or later. The program has been designed for scale-up across existing early childhood services if proven effective.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12887-016-0610-1
Field of Research 1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, Nicholson et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110578

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.