Publication Date

Spring 2013

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Psychology: Clinical/Experimental

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental; Psychology, Experimental; Social Work; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Keywords

Home visiting, Early Head Start, attachment theory, early intervention, parenting, adolescent mothers, teenage mothers, aggression

Disciplines

Child Psychology | Community-based Research | Community Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Social Welfare | Social Work

Abstract

Early Head Start (EHS) is an early intervention program that seeks to mitigate the effects of risk for those families with young children. Consistent with attachment theory, the home visiting component of EHS targets parent-child relationships in order to combat negative child outcomes. Research indicates that children of adolescent mothers are susceptible to poor outcomes both in childhood and adulthood. The current study utilized EHS data from 1198 parent-child dyads to assess the indirect relationship of home visitor quality on child aggression through parent quality, as moderated by maternal age. Findings indicated that home visitor quality may have a greater impact on children of adolescent mothers as compared to children of older mothers. Contrary to hypotheses, a trend suggested that higher home visitor quality may be directly related to lower child aggression instead of indirectly through parent quality. Findings may be attributed to home visitor turnover or the home visitor satisfaction measure selected for use. Results have implications for tailoring early intervention services, particularly for families of adolescent mothers.