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Randomized controlled trial of the effect of a home visiting intervention on infant cognitive development in peri-urban South Africa

Murray, L., Cooper, P., Arteche, A., Stein, A. and Tomlinson, M. (2016) Randomized controlled trial of the effect of a home visiting intervention on infant cognitive development in peri-urban South Africa. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 58 (3). pp. 270-276. ISSN 0012-1622

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.12873

Abstract/Summary

Aim To determine whether, in an impoverished South African community, an intervention that benefitted infant attachment also benefitted cognitive development. Method Pregnant women were randomized to intervention (220) and no treatment control groups (229). The intervention was home-based parenting support for attachment, delivered until six months postpartum. At 18 months, infants were assessed on attachment6, and cognitive development (Bayley MDI) (127 intervention, 136 control). Infant MDI was examined in relation to intervention, socio-economic risk, antenatal depression, and infant sex and attachment. Results Overall, there was little effect of the intervention on MDI (p=.094, d=0.20), but there was an interaction between intervention and risk (p=.03, ŋp2=.02): MDI scores of infants of lower risk intervention group mothers were, on average, 4·84 points higher than those of other infants (p=.002, d=.41). Antenatal depression was not significant once intervention and risk were controlled (p= .08); there was no association between infant MDI and either sex (p =.41) or attachment (p=.56). Conclusion Parenting interventions for infant cognitive development may benefit from inclusion of specific components to support infant cognition, beyond those that support attachment, and may be most effective for infants over six months. They may need augmentation with other input where adversity is extreme.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Winnicott
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:66041
Publisher:Wiley

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