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23-05-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2019

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2019

Trauma-Informed Behavioral Parenting for Early Intervention

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2019
Heather Agazzi, Carrie Adams, Emily Ferron, John Ferron, Emily Shaffer-Hudkins, Alison Salloum
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Training in trauma-informed early intervention programs is greatly needed for Part C early intervention providers (EIs). This study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and initial outcomes of Trauma-Informed Behavioral Parenting (TIBP; subsequently renamed Smart Start), an early intervention program designed to meet the social–emotional needs of toddlers enrolled in Part C services.


This pilot study consisted of training and supervising 5 EIs to implement TIBP with 8 parent–child dyads as part of their Part C services. Preliminary changes in child behavior problems, trauma exposures, parenting stress, and parenting skills were evaluated quantitively. EIs completed treatment integrity measures. Focus groups provided data regarding the feasibility of implementation and caregiver attitudes about TIBP.


Significant reductions in child trauma symptoms on both the YCPC-PTSD (S = 11.5, p = 0.0586, rMPRB = 0.64) and YCPC-FI (S = 11.5, p = 0.0586, rMPRB = 0.53) were indicated. No significant changes in externalizing behaviors were observed. Caregivers demonstrated improved use of positive verbal reinforcement and verbal reflections, and reported improvements on parent–child dysfunctional interactions on the PSI-SF (S = 16, p = 0.0117, rMPRB = 0.89). All focus group participants reported benefits from participating in TIBP. EIs demonstrated high adherence to treatment protocol and identified TIBP as a feasible program to implement within Part C services.


This study showed promising results as a means to disseminate evidence-based practices into a community-level program to address the social–emotional needs of toddlers. The need for additional, large sample research was highlighted.

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