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The impact on child developmental status at 12 months of volunteer home-visiting support

Barnes, Jacqueline (2012) The impact on child developmental status at 12 months of volunteer home-visiting support. Child Development Research , p. 728104. ISSN 2090-3987.

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Home-visiting support during pregnancy or soon after the birth of an infant can be advantageous for maternal well being and infant development. The best results have been identified when home-visitors are professionals, especially nurses, and if a theoretically driven curriculum is followed with fidelity. Some suggest that disadvantaged families, who may avoid professional services, respond well to support from community volunteers but there is less evidence about their impact. This study identified potentially vulnerable mothers during pregnancy in randomly allocated neighbourhoods where local volunteer home-visiting schemes agreed to offered proactive volunteer support and control areas where the local home-visiting schemes did not offer this proactive service. Taking demographic, child and family factors into account there were no significant differences in infant cognitive development at 12 months of age between families who had been supported by a volunteer and those who had not. Better cognitive development was predicted by less reported parenting stress when infants were 2 months and a more stimulating and responsive home environment at 12 months. The results suggest that unstructured proactive volunteer support for potentially vulnerable families is not likely to enhance infant development. Limitations of the cluster randomised design are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): early intervention, informal support, cognitive development, home-visiting
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2012 11:48
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 11:59

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