Child, Program, and Family Ecological Variables in Early Intervention

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This study is based on a conceptual framework which emphasized the importance of viewing early intervention outcomes in relation to both program and nonprogram variables. Three broad classes of independent variables were included in the framework child, program, and family ecology. The unique and combined contributions of these three sets of variables to the prediction of three indices of intervention outcome was assessed through regression techniques. As much as 68% of the variance in children's post-intervention developmental age (DA2) was explained by the combined influence of all three classes of variables. All three classes of variables again contributed uniquely to the prediction of parental satisfaction with the intervention, explaining 45% of the variance. The three classes of variables explained 36% of the variance in children's rate of development during the intervention (RDI), although the contribution of the program class was very minimal. In addition to ascertaining the contributions of sets of variables, the importance of individual variables within sets was also examined. Results from both types of analysis underscored the important role of nonprogram variables in the determination of both child and parental outcomes. The implications of these findings for the design and evaluation of early intervention are discussed.

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Early Education and Development, v. 3, issue 1, p. 27-44.