The Science behind the Bringing Baby Home Workshops
The following is a summary of the research on Bringing Baby Home as presented in the Bringing Baby Home educator's manual.
"John Gottman began his research on couples having children in 1985, following 20 previous years of research on couples and marriage. The Bringing Baby Home Study began in 1999 as a small pilot study designed by John M. Gottman, PhD and Alyson F. Shapiro, PhD. This study later grew into a full-scale research evaluation that was concluded in 2005, when the youngest of the research participants was 2 1/2 to 3-years-old. The Bringing Baby Home program has been evaluated through random clinical trial research involving 159 families. Each family was randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group received both a two-day Bringing Baby Home workshop and subsequently, attended 12 weeks of a support group. A second group only received the two-day Bringing Baby Home workshop that they attended shortly before the birth of their baby. The third group, the control group, did not receive either the Bringing Baby Home workshop or the support groups. The control group was offered the workshop following the completion of the study..."
- Both fathers and mothers who took the Bringing Baby Home (compared to those that did not) showed greater sensitivity and responsiveness to their infant's signals. This was particularly true for fathers.
- Parents who took the Bringing Baby Home program demonstrated better co-parenting abilities, in that they were able to work together more positively during family play with their 3-month old baby.
- Babies expressed more smiling and laughter during family play if their parents had participated in the Bringing Baby Home program. This was true for both 3 and 12-month-old infants.
- Several indicators of secure father-infant attachment were rated more positively in families who had taken the Bringing Baby Home program.
Infant Development & Temperament
- There were less language delays in one-year-old infants of parents who took the Bringing Baby Home program.
- Mothers who took the Bringing Baby Home program rated their babies as showing less distress in response to limitations (such as having a toy out of reach).
- One-year-old babies in the workshop group were rated as responding more positively to there fathers' soothing (this is likely to reflect something about father-baby interaction quality was well as infant temperament).
- Fathers who took the Bringing Baby Home program reported being more involved in parenting and feeling more satisfied and appreciated for their parental contributions.
- The quality of father-baby interactions was more positive if fathers had taken the Bringing Baby Home program (as reported throughout the chart).
Couple Relationship Quality
- Couples who took the Bringing Baby Home program reported high, stable relationship quality. Those who did not take the Bringing Baby Home program showed a decline in relationship quality over the first year after the baby's birth.
- There was less hostility expressed by both husbands and wives during conflict discussions if they had taken the Bringing Baby Home program.
Parent Mental Health
- Fewer mothers who took the Bringing Baby Home program shoed symptoms of postpartum depression, the baby blues, and other indicators of psychopathology, such as anxiety.
- Fewer fathers who took the Bringing Baby Home program showed signs of depression or anxiety.