Parents as Teachers Health Literacy Demonstration Project: Integrating an Empowerment Model of Health Literacy Promotion Into Home-Based Parent Education




Lauren N. Carroll, Sandra A. Smith, and Nicole R. Thomson

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


The Parents as Teachers (PAT) Health Literacy Demonstration project assessed the impact of integrating data-driven reflective practices into the PAT home visitation model to promote maternal health literacy. PAT is a federally approved Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program with the goal of promoting school readiness and healthy child development. This 2-year demonstration project used an open-cohort longitudinal design to promote parents’ interactive and reflective skills, enhance health education, and provide direct assistance to personalize and act on information by integrating an empowerment paradigm into PAT’s parent education model. Eight parent educators used the Life Skills Progression instrument to tailor the intervention to each of 103 parent-child dyads. Repeated-measures analysis of variance, paired t tests, and logistic regression combined with qualitative data demonstrated that mothers achieved overall significant improvements in health literacy, and that home visitors are important catalysts for these improvements. These findings support the use of an empowerment model of health education, skill building, and direct information support to enable parents to better manage personal and child health and health care. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Standardized assessment tools



For More Information

Carroll, L. N., Smith, S. A., & Thomson, N. R. (2015). Parents as Teachers Health Literacy Demonstration project: Integrating an empowerment model of health literacy promotion into home-based parent education. Health Promotion Practice, 16(2), 282–290. DOI: 10.1177/1524839914538968
Author Contact Information:
Sandra A. Smith


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes