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Preparing for Life: Early childhood intervention: Assessing the early impact of Preparing for Life at six months

The PFL Programme is being evaluated by the UCD Geary Institute using a mixed methods approach, incorporating a longitudinal experimental design and implementation analysis. The experimental component involves the random allocation of participants from the PFL communities to either a low or high supports treatment group for the duration of the five year programme. The PFL treatment groups also are being compared to a 'services as usual' comparison group, who do not receive the PFL Programme. This comparison group was identified using quasi-experimental methods. Specifically, hierarchal cluster analysis was used to identify communities that rank closely to the PFL community in terms of standard socioeconomic demographics such as education, employment, and percentage living in social housing, but do not receive any intervention. The impact evaluation collects data on children's physical health and motor skills, social and emotional development, and behaviour, learning, literacy and language development, and on mother's pregnancy behaviours, physical and psychological health, cognitive ability, personality, and parenting skills from pregnancy onwards. Data are collected from all three groups at baseline (t0), and when the child is six months (t1), 12 months (t2), 18 months (t3), 24 months (t4), three years (t5), and four years old (t6). In addition to these data collection time points, maternal cognition is assessed one time throughout the duration of the programme (usually between t0 and t1) using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI, Wechsler, 1999). Although the mother is the primary informant in all waves of data collection, information is also obtained from fathers, the PFL child, and other independent data sources, such as maternity hospital records. The current report provides a description of maternal responses obtained through face to face structured interviews at t1, when the PFL child was approximately six months old. (author abstract)
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Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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