Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) -Infant
Last updated: 2020
Evidence of model effectiveness
This model meets the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model” for the general population, but does not meet the criteria for tribal populations.
Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up–Infant (ABC-Infant) is a training program for caregivers of infants between the ages of 6 and 24 months, including high-risk birth parents and caregivers of young children in foster care, kinship care (such as a grandparent raising a grandchild), and adoptive care. Parent coaches conduct 10 weekly home visits lasting about 60 minutes each. The model is designed to help caregivers provide (1) nurturing, even when children do not appear to need it, (2) mutually responsive interactions in which caregivers follow children’s lead, and (3) care that does not frighten children. Parent coaches provide immediate feedback (referred to as “in the moment” comments) on the caregivers’ interaction with the child to help the caregivers attend to the target behaviors. During visits, the parent coach and caregiver watch videos of the caregiver interacting with the child. The parent coach highlights the caregiver’s strengths, celebrates changes in behavior, and identifies areas for improvement. The model also incorporates homework to give caregivers the opportunity to practice the skills they are learning and record their observations about their own behavior and the child’s behavior.
This report also includes a review of ABC-Toddler, designed for children between the ages of 24 and 48 months. (The studies HomVEE reviewed for ABC-Infant include research published before 2015 when the model was called the “ABC Intervention” and research published after the developer renamed the model “ABC-Infant” after introducing ABC-Toddler.)
For more information on ABC-Infant, please read the Model Overview.
Extent of evidence
Criteria established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Notes: If the model does not meet criterion 3 but meets criteria 1 and 2 based on findings from subgroups, the impacts must be replicated in the same domain in two or more studies using non-overlapping analytic study samples. HomVEE assesses and reports criteria 4 and 5 for all models that have well-designed research, but meeting those two criteria is only required of models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials. Please read the HHS criteria for evidence-based models for more information.