Research

RESEARCH GRANTS

Click here for a printable Research Brief on Promoting First Relationships® Program.

Families Together Program

This R01 study, funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is a randomized clinical trial designed to assess the effectiveness of Promoting First Relationships® children aged 1 to 5 years in child welfare who have recently been reunited with their birth parent after a foster care separation. Promoting First Relationships will be adapted and evaluated for service with preschool aged children. We will partner with Washington State and NAVOS, Community Mental Health, to implement this community based clinical trial of effectiveness. Dr. Monica Oxford is the principal investigator and Dr. Susan Spieker is the co-investigator. Currently recruiting until 2020.

Moms & Babies Program (Programa de Mamás y Bebés)

This RO1 study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is a randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of adding a research-based 10-week home visiting parenting program to Evidence-Based depression treatment, to counter the pernicious effects of mothers’ depression on parenting quality and infant development. Participants will be English and Spanish-speaking low-income mothers who began publicly funded depression treatment in pregnancy at their primary care community health centers and their infants 2-4 months of age. Dr. Susan Spieker is the principal investigator, and Dr. Monica Oxford is the co-investigator. Currently recruiting until 2019

Supporting Parent Program

This R01 study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is a randomized clinical trial designed to test the effectiveness of Promoting First Relationships® for 247 birth parents of infants and toddlers identified by Child Protective Services. Results showed the intervention improved observed caregiver sensitivity and knowledge of children’s developmental needs; PFR also improved child’s stress physiology during difficult tasks. Children whose parents received PFR were 2.5 times less likely to be placed in foster care. Dr. Monica Oxford is the principal investigator, and Dr. Susan Spieker is the co-investigator. Published Results

Fostering Families Program

This R01 study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, is a randomized clinical trial designed to test the effectiveness of Promoting First Relationships® for 210 birth, kin and foster caregivers of infants and toddlers in child welfare who recently transitioned into their care. Results showed the intervention improved observed caregiver sensitivity and knowledge of children’s developmental needs. Children improved in social competency and children showed more normalized stimulated cortisol patterns. Children with kin and foster families were more likely to achieve permanency if their caregivers received PFR. Dr. Susan Spieker is the principal investigator, and Dr. Monica Oxford is the co-investigator. Published Results

New Methods for Coding Parent-Child Relationships within a Sample of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers

This study, funded by the School of Nursing Research Intramural Funding Program, is designed to assess a highly-innovated method for coding parental-child interaction that can account for child outcomes over and above traditional methods of coding caregiver sensitivity. Fragmented and Unpredictable parental behavior (FRAG). FRAG coding, discovered in labs assessing rodent caregiving models, was recently applied to a sample of human Parent-Child dyads. We will evaluate the utility of this coding method within a sample of maltreated infants and toddlers. Dr. Monica Oxford is the principal investigator.

A Primary Prevention Trial to Strengthen Child Attachment in a Native Community

This study, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, with MPI’s Oxford, Booth-LaForce & Buchwald, is a randomized clinical trial that has partners with two tribes in the Midwest to adapt and implement infant mental health services using Promoting First Relationships® in a community-based partnership. We will train local providers to implement services using a distance learning program. Once trained community providers will implement a clinical trial using a wait-list control design. Total direct costs are. Drs. Cathryn Booth-LaForce and Monica Oxford are co-principal investigators. Completing 2019

Bright Start

This study is a collaboration with Seattle Children’s to test the hypothesis that a series of pragmatic, actionable, evidence-based and cost-effective caregiver behaviors can enhance early child-parent attachment as well as the cognitive and emotional development of children 3 years old and younger. The intervention consists of parent education and the provision of specific tools and recommendations for appropriate developmental stimulation after the first three years. Dr. Dimitri Christakis is the principal investigator and Dr. Susan Spieker is the co-investigator.

Promoting First Relationships®: Primary Prevention in Two Native Communities

An R01 within a P20, NIMHD Exploratory Centers of Excellence grant in collaboration with UW School of Medicine and Washington State University. MPIs—John Roll & Dedra Buchwald: Behavioral Health Collaborative for Rural American Indian Communities. Using a waitlist design, the aim of this study is to adapt and evaluate the adaption of Promoting First Relationships ® within a tribal community. Study completed, publications to come in 2019

Examining Biomarkers of Emotional Regulation in a Sample of Maltreated Toddler

This study, funded by the Royalty Research Fund, University of Washington, was designed to provide an opportunity to augment an ongoing, longitudinal, clinical trial of a 10-week home visiting intervention with maltreated infants and toddlers. In the parent study (R01HD061362-02: PI- Oxford) families are receiving one of two interventions in a clinical trial of Promoting First Relationships (PFR; Kelly et al., 2003). We collected collect additional physiological indicators of emotional regulation of infants and toddlers in this sample, specifically respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) during a home visit. Results indicated that children whose parents received PFR demonstrated significantly better emotional regulation than those children in the control group (see Hastings et al., 2018 in SPP Publication List).

EVALUATION

Educare

Educare is a model of center-based early childhood care and education developed by the Ounce of Prevention Fund and implemented in high poverty neighborhoods across the country. Key features of Educare include a public-private funding partnership, a place specifically designed for early care and education, and a program to serve children from birth to age 5.

The program seeks to promote and sustain best practices in early childhood education to benefit children and families living in poverty. Educare also seeks to increase children’s school readiness skills by emphasizing social-emotional development, language and literacy skills, and family involvement.

The Barnard Center provides evaluation and technical support to Educare Seattle in the White Center community in regard to implementing Educare in a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse, low-income population in the White Center area. As a local evaluation partner, we are part of a consortium of 18 Educare Schools across the country. Dr. Miriam Hirschstein is the principal investigator and Dr. Susan Spieker is the co-investigator.