Evidence-Based Practice

The Baby TALK model in action

Current Research

This April 2014, Baby TALK, in collaboration with the American Institute for Research, has begun conducting a randomized control trial examining the implementation of the Baby TALK model with at-risk English and Spanish-speaking families with young children in Illinois. Using 120 families, the study will examine parent and child outcomes in the areas of parent engagement, parenting stress, and child cognitive and pre-literacy skills.

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In 2015, we launched the Baby TALK Newborn Encounter Randomized Control Trial. The study was designed to examine rigorously the differences in outcomes across parental competence, parental stress, and community connectedness based on whether the Newborn Encounter was administered to new mothers or not. The aim of this study is to provide preliminary rigorous evidence of the positive parental outcomes associated with Baby TALK’s Newborn Encounter protocol and this is done through randomly assigning new mothers to receive the Newborn Encounter. This efficacy study involves 150 mothers and their newborns will set the foundation for larger scale randomized control trials examining outcomes associated with this tool in the future. Findings will be available in February 2016.

Past Research

In January 2010, Baby TALK used seed money to support the organization’s mission – to positively impact child development and nurture healthy parent-child relationships during the critical early years – through applied research. Building a research component into Baby TALK’s mission was to ensure the organization met all requirements as an evidence-based early childhood intervention model. The current publications document information on parent and children associated with the model.

Baby TALK Findings

Preliminary findings from the Newborn Encounter Randomized Control Trial, August 2015: The Newborn Encounter RCT across parental competence, parental stress, and community connectedness based on whether the Newborn Encounter was administered to new mothers or not. The following is a description of our study sample for both the control and treatment groups. The full study findings will be available February 2016.

Findings from previous studies have included:

  • The Baby TALK model identifies mothers with high-risk characteristics including low education levels, unemployed status, single parents, and low-income status. (Research Report No.1, 2012)
  • The Baby TALK model’s community-based approach strategically places early childhood professionals throughout the community, a proactive approach that allows for the early identification of vulnerable families especially those who would remain below the radar for referrals. (Research Report No.1, 2012)
  • The Baby TALK model is able to identify young mothers (age 20 and under) who have high-risk characteristics. (Fact Sheet No.1, 2011)
  • The Baby TALK model identifies parents early in the child’s life in local hospitals and the local WIC office. (Fact Sheet No.1, 2011)
  • The Baby TALK model’s Newborn Encounter documentation tool is an effective method for identifying risks among newborns and new parents, and engaging parents through relational techniques the increase parent responsiveness. (Research Report No. 2, 2013)