Improving child language, cognition and communication
Title: Interventions for parents and families: the evidence for improving language, cognitive and communication outcomes for children
Author: Parenting Research Centre
Commissioned by: The Benevolent Society
Published: March 2016
This Evidence Brief reports on the findings of a rigorous review of systematic reviews. It draws together the findings of 16 high-quality systematic reviews, and three good-quality systematic reviews, that report on the impact of family and parenting support programs and home visiting on language, cognitive and communication outcomes for children. It found good evidence to support the use of these interventions for improving the cognitive and expressive and receptive language outcomes for children, particularly in children who are developmentally vulnerable. Overall, findings suggest that a worthwhile investment lies in interventions that are designed to bolster parenting skills.
- There is good evidence to support the use of parenting and family support interventions for improving the cognitive outcomes of children, and sufficient evidence for improving receptive and expressive language outcomes for children.
- Parenting and family support interventions may be of particular benefit to developmentally vulnerable children.
- Parent-mediated interventions have some benefits for cognitive, language and literacy outcomes of children; they may be particularly helpful when used in combination with professionally delivered interventions.
- Ongoing home visiting, rather than single visits, may result in better outcomes for children.