Observing Home-Visiting Quality Across Time: A Longitudinal Reliability Study of the Home Visit Rating Scales




Patricia H. Manz and Nina E. Ventresco

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Early Head Start Home-Based Option


Empirical examination of home-visiting quality over time is lacking in the research literature. To this end, this study examined the most recent edition of a widely used observational measure of home-visiting quality, the Home Visit Rating Scales (HOVRS), over four repeated assessments spanning an average of 6 months. Psychometric quality for the HOVRS Total and Home Visitor Practice Scales, including item ratings and calculated scores, across time was demonstrated. Stability indicators for the Family Engagement Scales varied, with superior reliability often indicated for individual ratings over the calculated score. The exploration of interrelationships
among family demographics and change in HOVRS scores over time were largely insignificant. Interestingly, a decline in the Home Visitor Practice Scale significantly related to increased symptoms of maternal depression, possibly suggesting that home visitors’ focus shifted from children's needs to those of parents when mental health concerns were observed. Although this study is an examination of one program model and poses limited generalizability, it sets the stage for advancing the HOVRS and longitudinal measurement of home-visiting quality. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Home Visit Observations
  • Standardized assessment tools



For More Information

Manz, P. H., & Ventresco, N. E. (2019). Observing home‐visiting quality across time: A longitudinal reliability study of the home visit rating scales. Infant Mental Health Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/imhj.21780
Author Contact Information:
Patricia H. Manz


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Program Quality, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Fidelity