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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health