In-Home Parenting Training

Group: Save the Children
Timeframe: 2015-2016
A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of an in-home parenting training program among poor rural families showed significant improvement in child cognitive and health outcomes. The program incorporated instruction in psychosocial stimulation, nutrition, and health.

Research Design

Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)

Study subjects: 6-18 month-old babies and their caregivers; 449 children

Outcome measures: Hemoglobin concentrations (measure of anemia); Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Version III (Bayley-III); caregiver-reported child health measures

Project duration: 12 months


Community health workers delivered training and information on interactive parent-child activities, child nutrition and health during bi-weekly home visits over the period of one year.


Positive and significant impact on children’s cognitive development (0.22 SD).

No impact on language, motor, or social-emotional development.

Significant negative impact on incidence of child diarrhea.

No impact on incidence of fever, cough, or cold.


Shows that a home-based parenting intervention can effectively be delivered by local village-level affiliates of the NHFPC with limited social status and educational background.

Improvements in child development may have been mediated by increased parental investment in interactive activities and a more diverse, iron-rich diet for the child.


Renfu Luo, Ai Yue, Dorien Emmers, Nele Warrinnier, Scott Rozelle, and Sean Sylvia. “Using community health workers to deliver a scalable integrated parenting program in rural China: a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Hebei and Yunnan.” REAP Working Paper.