The purpose of this study is to develop, and then pilot test, an integrated, culturally sensitive home-based program targeting predominantly low-income, African American and Hispanic parents to improve parenting skills for obesity prevention and control among toddlers (2- to 3-years-old). The pilot study will use a randomized control design after development of the intervention. The intervention will integrate the Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) program, a home-based parent-centered curriculum designed to facilitate parents’ mastery of skills for interacting with their toddler, with Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH), a behaviorally-based school health promotion program based on Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to increase opportunities for healthy eating and activity.
We will integrate and pilot test ENRICH (Encouraging Nurturing Responsiveness to Improve Child Health), a 10-week home-based obesity prevention and control intervention targeting parents of 2- 3 year-old toddlers who are overweight/obese. The study will be implemented in three phases. Phase 1 (months 1-7) will include an integration of the PALS Toddler curriculum with CATCH early childhood messages and behavioral strategies; Phase 2 (months 8-18) will consist of a pilot-test of ENRICH using an RCT design; and Phase 3 (months 19-24) will consist of coding and analyzing data, report writing, and preparing for a larger grant application. This study will add significantly to the evidence base on home-based interventions in toddlers, an age group where the practices for obesity prevention and control remain poorly defined.
Recruitment of families will occur through various clinics throughout the Houston area. Early Childhood Center and Early Head Start classrooms will also be approached to help with the recruiting effort. Interventions will occur in families’ homes.