Play for Success: A Novel Intervention to Boost Visual Attention in Low-Socioeconomic-Status Infants




Melissa W. Clearfield

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Early Head Start Home-Based Option (EHS)


Developmental differences in visual attention between infants of low and high socioeconomic status (SES) have been observed as early as 6 months of age. These deficits in low-SES infants may compound into the well-known achievement gap when children enter grade school. The current study implemented a novel intervention designed to boost early visual attention. The intervention, called Play for Success, was administered through the Early Head Start home visiting program and required all infants to practice focused attention with a caregiver for 10 min a day every day for 2 weeks. A total of 42 6- to 10-month-old infants were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: Social (unstructured direction), Teach Two (simple structured direction), or Teach Many (more complex structured direction). Infants’ focused attention and inattention were tested three times: before the intervention, immediately following the intervention, and again 4 weeks later. The results demonstrated increased focused attention for both Teach Two and Teach Many. These results suggest that Play for Success is a promising new intervention, but only in the conditions that included parental structured direction. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Standardized assessment tools



For More Information

Clearfield, M. W. (2020). Play for Success: A novel intervention to boost visual attention in low-socioeconomic-status infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104810
Author Contact Information:
Melissa W. Clearfield


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches