Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up – Infant

Mental Health In-home Parent Skill-Based Does Not Currently Meet Criteria

Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) – Infant is designed to help caregivers of children aged 6 to 24 months who have experienced early adversity. ABC-Infant aims to promote responsive caregiving to help infants develop secure, organized attachments and self-regulation capabilities. ABC – Infant is provided by skilled clinicians, called parent coaches. Coaching sessions include in-the-moment and video feedback to foster the caregiver’s abilities to follow the infant’s lead, respond to infant’s distress in nurturing ways, and recognize and reduce frightening behaviors.


ABC – Infant does not currently meet criteria to receive a rating because no studies of the program that achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution demonstrated a favorable effect on a target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Dec 2020


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information was informed by the following sources: the program website, the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness, and the studies reviewed. 


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

ABC – Infant targets caregivers of infants aged 6 to 24 months who have experienced early adversity.

Dosage

ABC – Infant is delivered by skilled clinicians, called parent coaches. Services are provided over the course of 10 hour-long weekly sessions.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

ABC – Infant is delivered in the home.

Education, Certifications and Training

To become an ABC – Infant parent coach, skilled clinicians are screened by University of Delaware through a half-hour virtual interview. Parent coaches are expected to have strong interpersonal skills. No specific degrees or certifications are required. Initial training for parent coaches is a 2-day, in-person event. The event is held at University of Delaware or onsite at other locations for larger groups. Virtual trainings are also available. Training includes theoretical and practical orientation to the intervention, practice of core ABC program skills, review of session content, consultation around any issues specific to the parent coaches’ site or organization, and supervision planning. Parent coaches undergo a year of twice-weekly supervision via videoconferencing before becoming certified parent coaches.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

Dozier, M., & the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up Lab. (2020). Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up. [Unpublished manuscript]. University of Delaware, Newark.

Available languages

ABC – Infant materials are available in German, Mandarin, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Other supporting materials

Coaching Parents of Vulnerable Infants: The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up Approach

Contact Information for Developers

Website: http://www.abcintervention.org/

Phone: (302) 831-0534

Email: icp@psych.udel.edu

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up – Infant
Identified in Search 9
Eligible for Review 2
Rated High 1
Rated Moderate 0
Rated Low 1
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size
and Implied Percentile Effect
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices 0.28
10
1 (1) 152 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health 0.22
8
1 (1) 127 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group.

Outcome Effect Size
and Implied Percentile Effect
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices 0.28
10
1 (1) 152 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
-
Perrone, 2020
Parental Sensitivity 0.28
10
- 152 - 4
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health 0.22
8
1 (1) 127 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
-
Perrone, 2020
Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale 0.22
8
- 127 - 4

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated High

Study 10611

Perrone, L., Imrisek, S. D., Dash, A., Rodriguez, M., Monticciolo, E., & Bernard, K. (2020). Changing parental depression and sensitivity: Randomized clinical trial of ABC’s effectiveness in the community. Development and Psychopathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579420000310



Studies Rated Low

Study 10606

Berlin, L. J., Shanahan, M., & Carmody, K. A. (2014). Promoting supportive parenting in new mothers with substance-use problems: A pilot randomized trial of residential treatment plus an attachment-based parenting program. Infant Mental Health Journal, 35(1), 81-85. doi:10.1002/imhj.21427

This study received a low rating because baseline equivalence of the intervention and comparison groups was necessary and not demonstrated.


Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 10602

Dozier, M., Peloso, E., Lindhiem, O., Gordon, M. K., Manni, M., Sepulveda, S., Ackerman, J., Bernier, A., & Levine, S. (2006). Developing evidence-based interventions for foster children: An example of a randomized clinical trial with infants and toddlers. Journal of Social Issues, 62(4), 767-785. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2006.00486.x

Dozier, M., Manni, M., Gordon, M. K., Peloso, E., Gunnar, M. R., Stovall-McClough, K. C., Eldreth, D., & Levine, S. (2006). Foster children's diurnal production of cortisol: An exploratory study. Child Maltreatment, 11(2), 189-197. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559505285779

Bick, J., & Dozier, M. (2013). The effectiveness of an attachment-based intervention in promoting foster mothers' sensitivity toward foster infants. Infant Mental Health Journal, 34(2), 95-103. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21373

Bernard, K., Lee, A. H., & Dozier, M. (2017). Effects of the ABC intervention on foster children's receptive vocabulary: Follow-up results from a randomized clinical trial. Child Maltreatment, 22(2), 174-179. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559517691126

Lewis-Morrarty, E., Dozier, M., Bernard, K., Terracciano, S. M., & Moore, S. V. (2012). Cognitive flexibility and theory of mind outcomes among foster children: Preschool follow-up results of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Adolescent Health, 51(2, Suppl), S17-S22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.05.005

Dozier, M., Peloso, E., Lewis, E., Laurenceau, J. P., & Levine, S. (2008). Effects of an attachment-based intervention of the cortisol production of infants and toddlers in foster care. Development and Psychopathology, 20(3), 845-859. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579408000400

Dozier, M., Lindhiem, O., Lewis, E., Bick, J., Bernard, K., & Peloso, E. (2009). Effects of a foster parent training program on young children's attachment behaviors: Preliminary evidence from a randomized clinical trial. Child Adolescent Social Work Journal, 26, 321-332. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-009-0165-1

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10604

Bernard, K., Dozier, M., Bick, J., Lewis-Morrarty, E., Lindhiem, O., & Carlson, E. (2012). Enhancing attachment organization among maltreated children: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Child Development, 83(2), 623-636. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01712.x

Zajac, L., Raby, L., & Dozier, M. (2019). Sustained effects on attachment security in middle childhood: Results from a randomized clinical trial of the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) intervention. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13146 

Lind, T., Bernard, K., Ross, E., & Dozier, M. (2014). Intervention effects on negative affect of CPS-referred children: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(9), 1459-1467. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.04.004

Bernard, K., Dozier, M., Bick, J., & Gordon, M. K. (2015). Intervening to enhance cortisol regulation among children at risk for neglect: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Development and Psychopathology, 27(3), 829-841. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095457941400073X

Bernard, K., Hostinar, C. E., & Dozier, M. (2015). Intervention effects on diurnal cortisol rhythms of Child Protective Services-referred infants in early childhood: preschool follow-up results of a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(2), 112-119. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.2369

Bernard, K., Simons, R., & Dozier, M. (2015). Effects of an attachment-based intervention on child protective services-referred mothers' event-related potentials to children's emotions. Child Development, 86(6), 1673-1684. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12418

Tabachnick, A. R., Raby, K. L., Goldstein, A., Zajac, L., & Dozier, M. (2019). Effects of an attachment-based intervention in infancy on children's autonomic regulation during middle childhood. Biological Psychology, 143, 22-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.01.006

Bernard, K., Frost, A., Jelinek, C., & Dozier, M. (2019). Secure attachment predicts lower body mass index in young children with histories of child protective services involvement. Pediatric Obesity, 14(7), e12510-e12510. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12510

Bick, J., Palmwood, E. N., Zajac, L., Simons, R., & Dozier, M. (2019). Early parenting intervention and adverse family environments affect neural function in middle childhood. Biological Psychiatry, 85(4), 326-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.09.020

Lind, T., Bernard, K., Yarger, H. A., & Dozier, M. (2019). Promoting compliance in children referred to child protective services: A randomized clinical trial. Child Development. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13207

Yarger, H. A., Bronfman, E., Carlson, E., & Dozier, M. (2019). Intervening with Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up to decrease disrupted parenting behavior and attachment disorganization: The role of parental withdrawal. Development and Psychopathology, 32(3), 1139-1148. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579419000786

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10607

Berlin, L. J., Martoccio, T. L., & Jones Harden, B. (2018). Improving early head start’s impacts on parenting through attachment-based intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 54(12), 2316-2327. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000592

Berlin, L. J., Martoccio, T. L., Bryce, C. I., & Jones Harden, B. (2019). Improving infants’ stress-induced cortisol regulation through attachment-based intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 103, 225-232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.01.005

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10608

Sprang, G. (2009). The efficacy of a relational treatment for maltreated children and their families. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 14(2), 81-88. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-3588.2008.00499.x

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10609

Caron, E. B., Weston-Lee, P., Haggerty, D., & Dozier, M. (2016). Community implementation outcomes of Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up. Child Abuse & Neglect, 53, 128-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.11.010

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10612

Yarger, H. A., Hoye, J. R., & Dozier, M. (2016). Trajectories of change in Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up among high-risk mothers: A randomized clinical trial. Infant Mental Health Journal, 37(5), 525-536. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21585

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10613

Yarger, H. A., Bernard, K., Caron, E. B., Wallin, A., & Dozier, M. (2019). Enhancing parenting quality for young children adopted internationally: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2018.1547972

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).