Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version

January 2006


From Early Childhood Research Quarterly 21 (2006), 2–24. Published by Elsevier Inc. Used by permission. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2006.01.006


One strand of home visiting research investigates effi cacy while another investigates under what conditions programs achieve outcomes. The current study follows the latter approach. Using a within-program design in a sample of 11 home-based sites in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation study, this study found that three components of home visits (quantity of involvement including number of home visits, duration in the program, length of visits and intensity of service; quality of engagement including global ratings of engagement by staff and ratings of engagement during each home visit; and the extent to which home visits were child focused) represented distinguishable aspects of home visit services. Demographic variables predicted components of involvement, and home visit involvement components were differentially related to outcomes at 36 months, after controlling for demographic/ family factors and earlier functioning on the same measure. Only one quantity of involvement variable (duration) predicted improvements in home language and literacy environments at 36 months. Quality of involvement variables were negative predictors of maternal depressive symptoms at 36 months. Finally, the proportion of time during the visit devoted to child-focused activities predicted children’s cognitive and language development scores, parent HOME scores, and parental support for language and learning when children were 36 months of age. Implications for home visiting programs and policies are discussed.