Measuring prerequisites and effects of preventive intervention in early infancy

M. Pillhofer, A. Schoellhorn, T. Jungmann, A. Eickhorst, C. Schuengel

Research output: Contribution to JournalMeeting AbstractOther research output


In Germany early intervention has not been systematically implemented in the regular service delivery and the existing programs have not been profoundly evaluated. Due to serious child protection cases the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth participated in a federal action program named
"Early Prevention and Intervention for Parents and Children and Social Warning Systems" in 2007. Within this framework several preventive intervention programs were started funded by the government, respectively the National Centre on Early Prevention (NZFH). Angelika Schöllhorn will present the conclusions of semi-structured interviews on child protection, cooperation and networking with experts in the health care and child welfare system (N=26). The findings show how to cooperate effectively and what is necessary to start a positive communication and collaboration. They demonstrate the need of working on appropriate basic conditions (e.g., mutual appreciation, regular exchange of information) and on targeted methods and agreements for case-management. Melanie Pillhofer will contribute longitudinal evaluation data of an attachment-based intervention in a quasi-experimental control
group design within the project ‘A Good Start to Children’s Life’. The developmental outcomes of the mother-childpairs in the intervention group (N=63) were compared to those in the control group (N=33) at 5 measurement points during the first year of baby’s life. Initial analyses indicate the effectiveness of the intervention. Tanja Jungmann will present longitudinal data from a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of the German early intervention project ‘Pro Kind’ in a total sample of N=755 financially and socially disadvantaged mothers and their children. Self- and observer based-ratings of maternal competencies are related to developmental outcomes of the children at 6, 12 and 24 months of age. Data analyses show higher maternal competencies as well as better child developmental outcomes for treatment participants by trend. Andreas Eickhorst will present longitudinal evaluation
data of the prevention program "Nobody falls through the net" with home visits (starting shortly after birth) in a control group design (N = 2 x 150). Especially the baby’s social development in the intervention group showed good
improvement at 1 year of age. As a conclusion Carlo Schuengel will facilitate sharing of views and experiences among the participants of the symposium regarding the role that research findings concerning the prerequisites and the effects of preventive
intervention play in policy and practice.Nurturing Role Questionnaire) at 32 weeks of pregnancy (T1) and 3 months after birth (T2). Prenatally (at T1), these mothers stated that they would prefer to breastfeed as opposed to bottle-feed their infants. With respect to the postnatal breastfeeding questionnaire (at T2), mothers rated on 5-point Likert scales whether they 1) experienced breastfeeding as very difficult to very easy and 2) whether they experienced breastfeeding as very tiring to not tiring. The preliminary results of two hierarchical regression analyses, with PSE T1 scores entered first, indicated that mothers who experienced breastfeeding as easier or less tiring increased in PSE from T1 to T2 (respectively = .16, p < .05 and = .18, p < .01). PSE scores at both time points were not related to breastfeeding at T2. A subset of the mothers (n = 77) stopped to breastfeed their infants before three months of age. The mothers who indicated that they stopped earlier than planned had marginally lower PSE scores at T2 as opposed to mothers who did not stop earlier than planned (p = .08). For health care practices, the current findings emphasize the importance of supporting mothers’ early experiences with breastfeeding, especially since success-based efficacy beliefs are related to positive parenting and child outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-75
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventWorld Association for Infant Mental Health 13th Biennial World Congress -
Duration: 17 Apr 201221 Apr 2012


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