Lasting effects of an interdisciplinary home visiting program on child behavior: preliminary follow-up results of a randomized trial

J Pediatr Nurs. 2014 Jan-Feb;29(1):3-13. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 May 15.


Child mental health is of great concern requiring effective and appropriate parenting interventions. This pilot study was the first attempt to examine the intermediate effects of an ongoing parenting home visiting program, Minding the Baby (MTB), on parental reflective functioning (RF) and child behavior. Results indicated that the women who participated in the MTB intervention described their children-when assessed post-intervention-as having significantly fewer externalizing child behaviors. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups on parental RF from the end of the intervention to follow-up. The central finding that children who participated with the MTB program were reported to have significantly fewer externalizing behaviors following the intervention has important clinical and public health implications. Recommendations for the design of future follow-up studies and for further exploration of parental RF as it relates to the MTB outcomes are discussed.

Keywords: Child behavior; Mentalization; Parenting; Parent–child relations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Parenting
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires