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Home visit quality variations in two Early Head Start programs in relation to parenting and child vocabulary outcomes

Home-visiting programs aiming to improve early child development have demonstrated positive outcomes, but processes within home visits to individual families are rarely documented. We examined family-level variations in the home-visiting process (N = 71) from extant video recordings of home visits in two Early Head Start programs, using an observational measure of research-based quality indicators of home-visiting practices and family engagement, the Home Visit Rating Scales (HOVRS). HOVRS scores, showing good interrater agreement and internal consistency, were significantly associated with parent- and staff-reported positive characteristics of home visiting as well as with parenting and child language outcomes tested at program exit. When home-visiting processes were higher quality during the program, home visit content was more focused on child development, families were more involved in the overall program, and most important, scores on measures of the parenting environment and children's vocabulary were higher at the end of the program. Results showed that home visit quality was indirectly associated with child language outcomes through parenting outcomes. Observation ratings of home visit quality could be useful for guiding program improvement, supporting professional development, and increasing our understanding of the links between home-visiting processes and outcomes. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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