KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

Parenting Assessment Maps Interactions of Families of Children with Speech Delays

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

Guest Blog by

Nur Rahmadina

Faculty of Medicine, YARSI University

Anna Luthfiana

Departement of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, YARSI University

Jakarta, Indonesia


In our Indonesian pediatric practice, parents often report that their young children have delayed speech. Both intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors may affect delayed speech. Research shows that better parenting is associated with better child development, including speech and language development.  We wanted to see if one of the extrinsic factors might be the parent-child relationship and the interaction within the family. This clinical study was conducted to explore the parent-child interactions of Indonesian families with young children with speech delays. 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child interaction, language skills

Do Cell Phones Enhance Parenting Interventions Over Long-Term?

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 04:19 PM

Cell Phones Are Everywhere!

Today 75% of U.S. adults own a smart phone, compared to 35% in 2011. A hefty 92% of 18- to 29-year-olds own a smartphone, versus 42% of adults ages 65 and older. As researchers Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff have found, when parents let screen time interrupt their social interactions with their young children, it can hinder their young children’s development. It’s up to parents to use cell phones responsibly, as a resource rather than a disruption, during their activities with their children.  Can family services providers turn the ubiquitous presence of cell phones into an advantage for families and children?

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Tags: parenting outcomes, Parenting Assessment, parent-child interaction, engagement-parent, family, community, SafeCare, maternal depression, retention, PCI, cell phones, text messaging

How Do Smartphones Impact Children’s Language Development?

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Mon, Aug 07, 2017 @ 03:08 PM

For years, many of us have questioned whether too much television time hinders young children’s development. There’s ample research evidence showing that TV can adversely affect attention, sleep, language and social development.  Now, there’s a new wrinkle to this question. What’s the effect of handheld screen time (e.g., smartphones, tablets) on language development?  Parents don’t carry a TV in their pockets, but most parents do carry a smartphone.  When infants and toddlers start squirming on the bus, whimpering at a restaurant, or racing around the waiting room at the doctor’s office, what’s in your pocket?

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Tags: parent-child interaction, assessing parenting, language skills

Summer Safety Strategies: How to Protect Your Kids While Embracing the Outdoors

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 @ 04:54 PM

Guest Blog by Alex Robbins

Stay-at-home father of three lively boys.

Home safety is a number one priority when you are around this much energy and curiosity!

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Tags: parent-child interaction, play in nature, child abuse/neglect prevention

E-toys vs. Books, Blocks: New Study Shows Impact on Parent-Child Interaction

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Sun, Feb 07, 2016 @ 02:47 PM

  I often wonder about how e-toys effect young children’s language development. With all the marketing hype about talking books, kiddy smart phones and other “educational” electronic toys, what toys should parents buy to support their children’s development?  What toys should we, who support families, recommend to families with infants, toddlers and preschoolers? 

New research from Anna Sosa, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northern Arizona University explores these questions.  She built on Hart & Risley’s long-respected language study linking the number of words children hear from their parents during the early years to later language development. 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child interaction, language skills

Positive Parenting Leads to Infant/Toddler Mental Health

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Sun, Oct 25, 2015 @ 06:08 PM

Child Trends 5 issues a series of monthly e-newsletters summarizing current research about children and youth.  The October 2015 newsletter, Child Trends:  Five Things to Know about Mental Wellness in Early Childhood is brief, but packed with lots of links to solid research. The authors highlighted facts about the mental wellness of infants and toddlers, birth to 3 years old.  Because parents and other significant caregivers are responsible for the early environments that young children experience, this newsletter focuses on what parents/caregivers need to understand and how they can promote children’s mental wellness during the first 3 years of life.

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Tags: parent-child interaction, parent-child relationship, attachment, resilience, emotional development, mental health

New Book: How Brief Personality Assessment Can Guide Better Parenting

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Sep 02, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

Among the vast array of parenting information currently available in books, magazines and on the Internet, it’s refreshing to read a book offering a roadmap for helping parents reflect on how to adapt to each of their children’s individual personalities.  Take a look at Great Parenting Skills for Navigating Your Kid’s Personality.  (Note the clever word play on GPS.) The Canadian authors, coach/facilitator Kate Jones and educator Wayne Jones, provide a readable and positive approach for understanding different personality styles of parents and children. Particularly, they remind us to step into another’s shoes before acting. The authors share their knowledge, experience and parent-child examples developed through years of presenting parenting workshops on the four temperaments, sometimes known as the four colors of personality.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child interaction, personality, temperament

Dads Matter Too! Engaging Fathers in Parenting Services

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 06:09 PM

When you hear the word Parent, who do you think of first? … At quick response, most people say Mom.  All too often Dads aren’t given the credit they deserve.  Despite decades of research supporting Dads’ valuable contributions to children’s development, they are often portrayed in the mass media (e.g., TV, radio, Internet, movies) as the goofy playmate, the incompetent caregiver, the uninterested bystander, or the stern disciplinarian who stands in for Mom every so often.

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Tags: parent-child interaction, assessing parenting, fathers, engagement-parent, family, community, family support-partnership-services

Closing the Word Gap is Not Enough. It Takes Quality Interactions

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 03:27 PM

The “30 Million Word Gap” - This phrase keeps popping up in community service programs and in the news media.  Across the US, communities are launching public awareness campaigns and innovative programs supported by public and private funding to “close the word gap” by encouraging families to talk, sing and read every day with their young children.  Learn more about new projects in Illinois, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and California.

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Tags: parent-child interaction, word gap, early literacy, language skills

Teaching What Works for Children at Parenting University

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

Importance of Parenting & Evidence-Based Intervention

Children don’t come with instructions.  Yet, parenting quality effects a child’s overall welfare and influences vital outcomes such as social behavior, educational success and emotional well-being (Olds, et al., 2007). Characteristics of effective parenting include (a) interaction style with their child; (b) warmth and affection towards their child; and (c) parenting strategies used (Johnson, et al., 2008). Cultivating positive parent/child interaction is a cornerstone of most parenting programs and parenting curricula. 

Guest blog by

Kyla Liggett-Creel
University of Maryland School of Social Work

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Tags: parent-child interaction, assessing parenting, parent leaders, coaching interactions, poverty