Studies, Reviews and Research

The Effectiveness of Early Childhood Home Visitation in Preventing Violence: A systematic review

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American Journal of Preventative Medicine

In early childhood home visitation programs, parents and children are visited at home during the child’s first 2 years of life by trained personnel who provide some combination of information, support, or training about child health, development, and care. Home visitation has been used to meet a wide range of objectives, including improvement of the home environment, family development, and the prevention of child behavior problems. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force) has conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence of the effectiveness of early childhood home visitation for preventing violence, with a focus on violence by and against juveniles.

The Task Force recommends early childhood home visitation for preventing child abuse and neglect, on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of early childhood home visitation in preventing violence by visited children, violence by visited parents (other than child abuse and neglect), or intimate partner violence in visited families. This report gives additional information about the findings, including diverse outcome measures and results in study population subsamples; describes how the reviews were conducted; provides information that can help in applying the intervention locally; and recommends additional research.


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