Effect of parenting intervention through "Care for Child Development Guideline" on early child development and behaviors: a randomized controlled trial

BMC Pediatr. 2022 Dec 2;22(1):690. doi: 10.1186/s12887-022-03752-x.


Background: Several studies showed that parenting intervention programs play a core component in early child development. Considering the limited healthcare resources in developing countries, group-session intervention based on care for child development (CCD) guideline might be cost-effective.

Methods: This randomized controlled trial was conducted at an outpatient public Pediatrics clinic in Isfahan, Iran. We included 210 pregnant women aged 18-45 years in their third trimester and followed their children for 18 months. The intervention group underwent 5 educational group sessions, each lasting for almost 45 minutes. The main outcomes were the children's development and socio-emotional behavior problems based on Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III (BSID-III) at 12 months and the Children Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at 18 months.

Results: Overall, data of 181 children were included in the current study, including 80 in the intervention group and 101 controls. The adjusted median/mean differences between intervention and control groups using median/linear regression were not significant for all BSID-III domains except for median differences for cognitive score based on BSID-III (β (SE): - 4.98(2.31), p:0.032) and mean differences for anxiety/depression score based on CBCL (β (SE): - 2.54(1.27), p:0.046).

Conclusion: In this study, parenting interventions through CCD group sessions were significantly effective on just one subscale of children's socio-emotional behavior domains based on CBCL and one domain of children's development based on BSID-III. There might be a ceiling or floor effects for the BSID-III and CBCL assessment, respectively, leaving little room for improvement as almost all children have achieved their full developmental potential in our study.

Trial registration: IRCT20190128042533N2, Date of registration: 16/01/2020, www.irct.ir.

Keywords: Child behavior; Child development; Parenting education.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Parenting*
  • Pregnancy
  • Problem Behavior*