The study found that by studying a videotaped three-minute session of mother and child interactions and then providing feedback to the mother from a trained coach in early childhood development could make a world of difference. The sessions, which would take place during well visits with the baby’s pediatrician have been described as a cost-effective approach to counteracting the inequality of preparedness for those children when they eventually enter a school program.
Appearing in Pediatrics, the research study was conducted by Alan Mendelsohn, M.D. of New York University Grossman School of Medicine and his colleagues through funding by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
403 New York and Pittsburgh families deemed at-risk contributed data to the observation. Infants ranged from newborn to six months, with the parents and babies scheduled for either four well-care visits by themselves or in combination with a videoed session. Following the six month mark, parents then filled out a questionnaire to document the interactions they had with their children.
Those in the Video Interaction group were found to be more likely to report interactions like reading out loud, playing with their children, and even speaking to their infants. It is this response that also is credited for pushing the VIP group to higher behavioral scores which have been shown to promote cognitive, language, social and emotional development.
According to their website, The Video Interaction Project is an evidence-based parenting program that not only uses video, but also developmentally-appropriate toys, books, and other various resources which have been shown to help parents navigate imaginative play, shared reading, as well as common daily routines which, in turn, produce long-term opportunities to strengthen both development and literacy in their children.
The program originally began in 1999 with support from Children of Bellevue. Dr. Alan Mendelsohn and Dr. Benard Dreyer, both New York City pediatricians and members of the NYU School of Medicine faculty, worked together alongside Virginia Flynn, a Bellevue Child Life Specialist, to create and begin the program. At the time of its start, Bellevue Hospital Center was the first location in New York City to offer Reach Out and Read, a program that not only delivers children’s books, but counsels parents in the action of reading aloud to their children. These programs, much like VIP, specifically target low-income parents and those who might otherwise not have access to viable resources.
NEXT: 14 Pregnancy And Birth Interventions Women Refuse And Why
Sources: National Institute of Health, Video Interaction Project
Transitioning Babies To Solids: A Conversation With Solid Starts’ Jenny Best & Dr. Rachel Ruiz
About The Author