Involvement of Low-Income Single Caregivers in Child-Focused Early Intervention Services: Implications for Caregiver-Child Interaction *


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    This research was funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA, PHS, DHHS, Grant MCJ-420598–04.

* * Dr. Donald G. Unger, Department of Individual & Family Studies, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (


Involving caregivers in their children's services often is assumed to make the delivery of child-focused services more effective. We examined the relation of caregiver involvement in children's early intervention programs (EIPs) with caregiver-child interaction. Participants were 99 low-income single caregivers whose children (≤ 40 months old) were enrolled in EIPs that provided opportunities for caregiver involvement. The results confirmed that caregivers who were more engaged with the programs (as rated by program staff) were more likely to demonstrate more responsiveness in interactions with their children. However, the frequency of participation or number of different types of activities at the EIPs in which they engaged were not significantly related to caregiver-child interaction. Implications are discussed for enhancing supportive and collaborative relationships between caregivers and providers.