Mental Health and Social Development Effects of the Abecedarian Approach
- Samples: children from low-resource families, children born prematurely and at low birth weight, children with cerebral palsy, children from various countries, Indigenous children, children in an orphanage.
- Method of program delivery: center-based group care, family child care homes, play groups, home visiting.
- Length of intervention: birth to 36 months of age, birth to school entry.
2. What Is the Abecedarian Approach?
- Language Priority—making each part of the child’s day an opportunity for talking, listening, responding, and taking turns. Young babies’ glances and gestures are accepted as important parts of a two-way conversation.
- Conversational Reading—reading books interactively, emphasizing the child’s active role. The adult provides graded or hierarchical prompts to gradually elicit more developmentally advanced responses from the child. The word “conversational” emphasizes the back-and-forth, reciprocal nature of this type of reading.
- Interaction Games—playing interactively through adult-child games tailored to the child’s interests and developmental level. The games appear easy on the surface but challenge the adult to find just the right level and variation for the individual child. While the action of the game is simple, the significance to the child’s development can be profound.
- Enriched Caregiving—incorporating educational content and social-emotional connection into the child’s daily care routines such as feeding/eating, changing diapers/toileting, bathing/washing hands, getting dressed/undressed. Adults enhance the basic level of care they provide by emphasizing its social-emotional aspect as well as incorporating explicit educational content such as shapes, sizes, colors, numbers, and processes.
3. Mental Health and Social Development Effects from Abecedarian Interventions
3.2. Communicative Initiations
3.3. Language Development
3.4. Locus of Control
3.5. Problem Behavior
3.7. Risky Behaviors
3.9. Healthy Life Style
3.10. Criminal Behavior
3.11. Social Services Benefits
3.12. Hypertension and Other Health Indicators
3.13. Social Decision-Making
3.14. Does Participation in the Program and the Curriculum Really Matter?
3.15. Cognitive Advantage Plus Social Adjustment Plus Motivational Advantage
3.16. Abecedarian Training and Caregiver Behavior
Conflicts of Interest
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Sparling, J.; Ramey, S.L.; Ramey, C.T. Mental Health and Social Development Effects of the Abecedarian Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6997. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136997
Sparling J, Ramey SL, Ramey CT. Mental Health and Social Development Effects of the Abecedarian Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(13):6997. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136997Chicago/Turabian Style
Sparling, Joseph, Sharon Landesman Ramey, and Craig T. Ramey. 2021. "Mental Health and Social Development Effects of the Abecedarian Approach" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 13: 6997. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136997