Early Steps to School Success (ESSS): Examining Pathways Linking Home Visiting and Language Outcomes




Iheoma U. Iruka, Deborah Brown, Judith Jerald, and Kimberly Blitch

Brief Type

Journal publication


  • Other Models


Background: Improving the home environment and parenting practices to support children’s early development and learning is a key focus of many. Home visiting is one potential strategy to improve the home environment and parenting; however, more data about current programmatic efforts is needed, especially for children with multiple risks living in low-wealth communities. Objective: Secondary analysis was conducted using the Early Steps to School Success home visiting program data to examine the pathway through which home visiting participation is associated with children’s early language outcomes and whether this pathway varies by quantity of risk factors. Methods: In addition to conducting regression analyses, multiple group path analyses were done to examine the indirect relationship between home visiting participation and children’s early language outcomes through the home environment and literacy practices, and variation of this relationship by risks. Results: Participation in home visiting was indirectly associated with children’s receptive language through a responsive and language-rich home environment. Conclusion: Home visiting is one strategy to improve the quality of home environment and parenting practices, especially for children experiencing multiple risks. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Interviews
  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Standardized assessment tools


For More Information

Iruka, I. U., Brown, D., Jerald, J., & Blitch, K. (2018). Early steps to school success (ESSS): Examining pathways linking home visiting and language outcomes. Child & Youth Care Forum, 47(2), 283–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-017-9430-1
Author Contact Information:
Iheoma U. Iruka


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage