Six-month Findings

A central goal of HFI services is to promote optimal parent-child interactions.  The quality of parent-child interactions in the first months of life has been shown to be associated with the development of secure attachments, intellectual abilities, and expressive language (Sumner & Speitz, 1995).

Key findings from the HFI evaluation indicate that receipt of HFI services is associated with improvements in parent-child interactions during the first six months of life.  More specifically, parents involved in HFI services demonstrated significant improvements in their NCATS total scores (see Figure 3), which reflect improvements in sensitivity and responsiveness when interacting with their infants.  Comparison parents, who received all other usual services, did not significantly improve in their NCATS total scores during the same time period.

Figure 3: NCATS total scores by family type.

Description of Figure 3: NCATS total scores by family type.

No data was given to textually describe the scanned chart but this is what it visually looks like:

There are two lines, One representing the HFI group and the other representing the Comparison group. These lines are plotted against their Score on the NCATS test by age group of the child. The HFI group increased significantly between Birth and 6 months, while the Comparison group remained around the same.

HFI ( n = 888 )
Comparison ( n = 239 )

"HFI s an awesome program.  The information they provide me each time helps me more and more to be a better mother" - quote from an HFI parent

The NCATS total score is comprised of several subscales, one of which is the NCATS Caregiver subscale.  NCATS caregiver subscale scores reflect the degree to which caregivers demonstrate skills that are considered important for promoting socio-emotional and cognitive growth in children.  Higher NCATS Caregiver subscale scores reflect improved abilty to recognize and respond to infant's cues, communicate with a positive affective tone, and create opportunities for their child to develop cognitively.  Parents who received HFI services demonstrated improvements in their caregiving skills, as evidence by increases in their Caregiver subscale scores during the first six months of their babies' lives.  In contrast, Caregiver subscale scores declined among Camparison parents during the same time period.  Although no other differential patterns of change were noted between HFI and comparison parents from birth to six months, the findings noted above support the proposition that HFI services are associated with improved caregiving during the first six months of life.