Community Implementation Outcomes of Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up




EB Caron, Patria Weston-Lee, Danielle Haggerty, and Mary Dozier

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC)


Bringing evidence-based treatments to community practice is a critical challenge for the field. When implemented in the community, evidence-based treatments often fail to provide the benefits shown in laboratory settings. Therefore, when evidence-based treatments are transported to the community, it is essential to investigate implementation process and outcomes. The present study assessed whether Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), an intervention for high-risk parents that has been shown to be efficacious in randomized clinical trials (RCTs), changed parent behavior in a community-based setting. This study examined data collected from 78 cases by 9 parent coaches in a diverse community setting in Hawaii, and compared data to benchmarks from RCTs. Parent coach fidelity was coded from intervention session video clips, and was also compared with benchmarks. Caregivers participating in ABC were primarily birth parents, and most were referred through Child Protective Services involvement or for reasons of harsh parenting or neglect. Parental behavior was assessed before and after intervention using a semi-structured play task. Increases in parental following the lead and delight, and decreases in parental intrusiveness, were observed; these changes were comparable to effect sizes observed in RCTs. Intent to treat analyses were conducted using behavioral data from videotaped sessions, and suggested that ABC also improved following the lead in parents who subsequently dropped out of treatment. These results support the viability of ABC for enhancing parenting behavior among parents at high risk for maltreatment, and demonstrate that parent coaches in community agencies can successfully implement ABC. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Fidelity observations
  • Home Visit Observations
  • Parent-child observations
  • Site visits
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Carta, J.J., Lefever, J.B., Bigelow, K., Borowski, J., Warren, S.F. (2013) Randomized trial of a cellular phone-enhanced home visitation parenting intervention, Pediatrics, 132, 167-173.
doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1021Q
Author contact information:
Judith Carta


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage