Infants of at-risk birth parents (under age 2 at enrollment):
Families were referred by agencies working with child protective services. All parents were enrolled in the city’s program that was intended to divert children from foster care because of identified needs and ⁄or concerns that children were at risk. Domestic violence, parental substance use, homelessness, and child neglect were the conditions noted most often. Families were randomly assigned to receive the ABC intervention or a control intervention.
More of the children whose parents received the ABC intervention were classified as having secure attachments than those in the control group (52% of children receiving ABC vs. 33% of children receiving a control intervention). In addition, fewer of the children in the ABC intervention group had disorganized attachments than those in the control group (only 32% of ABC children were classified as disorganized vs. 57% of children in the control group) (Bernard, Dozier, Bick, Lewis-Morrarty, Lindhiem, & Carlson, 2012).
Children who received the ABC intervention had a more normative diurnal pattern of cortisol production (steeper slopes and higher wake-up values of cortisol) than children who received the control intervention (Bernard, Dozier, Bick, & Gordon, 2015).
When assessed three years after completing the ABC intervention, children who received the ABC intervention continued to have a more normative diurnal cortisol pattern than the children who had received the control intervention (Bernard, Hostinar, & Dozier, 2015).
During a challenging task designed to elicit frustration, children who received the ABC intervention displayed less overall anger, and less anger towards their parents in particular, than children who received the control intervention (Lind, Bernard, Ross, & Dozier, 2014).