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Implementation evaluation of Best Start for Babies




Hornell, Lindsay, author
MacPhee, David, advisor
Coatsworth, J. Douglas, committee member
Khetani, Mary, committee member

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One of the most important aims of evaluation science is to determine whether interventions have a positive impact on the lives of their participants. A component of program evaluation is to assess program implementation. This evaluation study assessed the implementation of the Best Start for Babies/Best Start for Toddlers (BSB/T) program by examining its fidelity to protocol, dosage, and participant engagement in relation to program impact. BSB/T strives to promote positive child outcomes by providing parents with support, education, and community referrals throughout the prenatal to toddler years. Facilitator logbooks from the first three years of the BSB/T were evaluated. Program impacts were assessed through use of (1) the Knowledge of Infant Development Inventory (KIDI), which measures a caregiver's understanding of developmental milestones, strategies for child rearing, and knowledge of basic child development; and (2) the Self-Perceptions of the Parental Role (SPRR), which assesses parent self-efficacy and investment in the parental role. Both of these measures were administered at the beginning and end of the program. By focusing on a program that has not yet been systematically evaluated, I was able to determine how degree of fidelity, dosage, and participant engagement contributed to BSB/T program outcomes. Results from this study suggest that adhering to the curriculum is more important for certain activities, but not for other activities. Findings on dosage, regarding how time was allocated in classes, suggest that providing parents with more time to interact with one another was related to better program outcomes. Finally, greater parental engagement was found to be associated with better program outcomes - whereas parental resistance was associated with lower program outcomes. The findings from this study offer current and future facilitators with valuable information on how to best implement the BSB/T program.


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program evaluation
program planning
program implementation


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