Mental Health Services for Toddlers in Foster Care

U

University of Delaware

Status and phase

Completed
Phase 1

Conditions

Behavior Problems

Treatments

Behavioral: Developmental Education for Families
Behavioral: Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT01261806
NIH R01 MH052135

Details and patient eligibility

About

Toddlers (2- to 3-year-old children) in foster care often have difficulty regulating behavior and biology, and are at risk for a host of mental health problems. Critical issues for toddlers straddle the challenges of infancy and preschool years. In particular, toddlers in foster care face significant challenges in forming new attachment relationships and developing behavioral and biological regulatory capabilities. This project will assess the effectiveness of an intervention that targets these issues. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up for Toddlers in Foster Care (ABC-T) was developed to help parents: provide nurturing care so that children develop secure, trusting relationships; and supporting children when they become overwhelmed that enhance children's ability to regulate behavior and biology. This intervention's effectiveness will be assessed in a randomized clinical trial.

Full description

This study assesses the efficacy of a 10-session intervention for young children in the foster care system. Children are randomly assigned to the experimental condition (ABC-T) or to a treatment control (DEF). In the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up for Toddlers (ABC-T) condition, children's foster parents receive an intervention that focuses on nurturance, following children's lead, and helping children settle when they become overwhelmed. In the Developmental Education for Families (DEF) intervention, children's foster parents receive an intervention that focuses on enhancing children's cognitive and motor skills. Both of the interventions are provided in families' homes for 10 sessions of about 60 minutes duration. Outcomes include attachment (assessed in the Preschool Strange Situation), cortisol production (assessed diurnally), child behavior problems (assessed through laboratory procedures that stress children), and through psychiatric interviews.

Enrollment

220 patients

Sex

All

Ages

2 to 3 years old

Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

2 -3 years of age, in foster care

Exclusion criteria

Not in foster care

Trial design

220 participants in 2 patient groups

Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up
Experimental group
Description:
Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up: 10 session intervention in foster families' homes designed to enhance parental nurturance, synchrony, and provide skills such that parents can help children calm down when overwhelmed.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up
Developmental Education for Families
Active Comparator group
Description:
10 session intervention in foster families' homes that targets cognitive and motor skills of children
Treatment:
Behavioral: Developmental Education for Families

Trial contacts and locations

0

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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