Randomized Control Trial of an Internet-Based Parenting Intervention for Mothers of Infants




Edward G. Feil, Kathleen Baggett, Betsy Davis, Susan Landry, Lisa Sheeber, Craig Leve, and Ursula Johnson

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) Infant


Early parenting home-visiting interventions have been found to be highly effective in promoting child development. Yet, there are many obstacles in the implementation of home-visiting programs, including travel and access to trained providers. Internet-based interventions can reach many parents of infants to overcome these barriers. The objective of this randomized control trial was to evaluate the impact of the Internet-adaptation of the Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) program, a preventive intervention program to strengthen effective parenting practices that promote early language, cognitive, and social development. Mothers in low-income environments (N = 164) of infants were randomized to either (a)an Internet-facilitated PALS parenting intervention or (b) an Internet-facilitated attention control condition. Measures included direct observations of maternal behavior with her infant, questionnaires about maternal functioning and parenting knowledge, and real-time program usage. Experimental participants demonstrated significantly greater increases in parenting knowledge and observed language-supportive parenting behaviors with a correlated positive change in infant language behaviors. Effects were pronounced when participants received a greater dosage of the intervention. Results suggest that the Internet-based translation of the PALS program is effective as a remotely delivered intervention for economically disadvantaged families to strengthen early parenting behaviors that promote infant social communication and child language development. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Parent-child observations
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Feil, E. G., Baggett, K., Davis, B., Landry, S., Sheeber, L., Leve, C., & Johnson, U. (2018).  Randomized control trial of an internet-based parenting intervention for mothers of infants. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.11.003
Author Contact Information:
Edward G. Feil


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