Impact of community mentors on maternal behaviors and child outcomes

Susan E. Dieterich, Susan H. Landry, Karen E. Smith, Paul R. Swank, Heather M. Hebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Play and Learning Strategies (PALS), a research-based parent education and support program, was delivered to families with low income via home visiting using a facilitator. Facilitators completed 12 home visits addressing responsive parenting, behavioral support, language stimulation, and support of attentional skills. This report compares PALS to M-PALS, a program that included a community mentor in addition to a facilitator. Community mentoring provided modeling of parenting skills and supportive services to decrease external stressors for mothers. Mothers who participated in the M-PALS and PALS programs for longer durations demonstrated more responsive behaviors. Mothers in the M-PALS program also had greater increases in verbal scaffolding and their children showed greater gains in cognitive scores. Verbal scaffolding was a mediating factor for child cognitive outcomes. Mentoring impacted child changes indirectly and should be studied further to determine other beneficial functions mentors might serve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of community mentors on maternal behaviors and child outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this