Early Start: An early intervention with teenage mothers and their newborn babies

Karen Corwin Mook, University of Rhode Island


The efficacy of Early Start, an early intervention program for teenage parents with newborn babies, was evaluated. The program was designed to reach teenage parents in a rural Maine area. Some teenagers attended classes with their babies. Others received individualized service at home. Programming focussed on teaching parents about infant behavior and development. Considerable time was spent coaching parents in play with their babies by using guided interaction and videotaping. Baseline and post-test data measuring maternal, support, and interaction variables were collected on both Early Start participants and a matched control group from outside of the serviced area. A preliminary analysis of the data showed some beneficial, short-term effects for Early Start, mother-infant pairs. Specifically, mothers who participated in the Early Start Program reported less "unpredictability" in their babies and fewer family worries than did their control counterparts. Early Start mothers also had more realistic developmental expectations and more desirable childrearing attitudes.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Karen Corwin Mook, "Early Start: An early intervention with teenage mothers and their newborn babies" (1993). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9332456.