The effects of the Healthy Steps for Young Children Program: Results from observations of parenting and child development

Margaret O.Brien Caughy, Keng Yen Huang, Therese Miller, Janice L. Genevro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Healthy Steps for Young Children Program (HS) is designed to provide support for new parents through the pediatrician's office. We present findings of the effect of HS on the quality of mother-child interaction, security of attachment, and child behavior using observational data from two of the HS sites that utilized a randomized treatment design. Results indicated that mothers participating in Healthy Steps were more likely to interact sensitively and appropriately than mothers in the comparison group at the second assessment point (age 34-37 months) but not at the first assessment point (age 16-18 months). There were no differences in child outcomes at either time point when the cross-sectional data were analyzed. However, the results of the longitudinal analysis (which included families who participated in the home observations at both Time 1 and Time 2) indicated that Healthy Steps participation was associated with greater security of attachment and fewer child behavior problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-630
Number of pages20
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 30 2004



  • Early intervention
  • Healthy Steps
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this