Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Shannon R. Self-Brown, PhD

Second Advisor

Jenelle R. Shanley, PhD



Sanjana S. Mammen

Examining the SafeCare Parent-Infant Interaction Module’s Impact on the Quantity and Content of Maternal-Infant Directed Utterances

(Under the direction of Shannon Self Brown, PhD)

Positive parenting skills reduce risk for child maltreatment. The Parent-Infant Interaction (PII) module of SafeCare was designed to promote positive parent-child relationships; however, little research has examined its impact on parent-infant utterances. Past research has indicated that a rich parent-child language environment predicts literacy skills and academic achievement, so the present research studies how PII impacts positive maternal infant-directed utterances. Three dyads with various risk levels with infants aged younger than 9-months were offered PII training and a short video modeling positive parent-infant communication. Multiple-probe, single-case experimental design yielded data with several positive trends for maternal-infant utterances, but findings were inconsistent during all conditions. Conversely, following the video, improved utterances were demonstrated consistently across all activities and dyads. These pilot data render several future studies relevant to further our understanding of PII’s impact on maternal-infant communication broadly, including more rigorous research designs and measures to further study this important outcome.