Evaluation of an Intervention Program for Families with Children at Risk for Maltreatment and Developmental Impairment: A Preliminary Study

Maria Manuela Calheiros*, Joana Nunes Patrício, João Graça, Eunice Magalhães

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This study evaluated the preliminary effects of an early intervention program for parents and children at-risk. In this study, a sample of 40 children were randomly assigned to a 9-months intervention program (intervention group, n = 20) or remained in usual practice conditions (control group, n = 20). The intervention involved group dynamics with children in pre-school and individual work sessions with the parents and the children at home. A repeated measures design 2 × 2 was used to test the program effects on parenting practices (Maltreatment Questionnaire) and on children’s mental and social development (Griffiths Mental Development Scales). Results revealed that the program had a positive impact mostly on parenting practices, decreasing physical and psychological abuse (d = −1.01), physical neglect (d = −0.71) and lack of supervision (d = −0.48), and also on measures of cognitive development (i.e., hearing and language; d = 0.31). The program reinforces the importance and effectiveness of attunement intervention programs for parents and for children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1613
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1-May-2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Child development
  • Early intervention program
  • Parenting practices
  • Parents and children
  • Program evaluation

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