Evaluation of a LENA-Based Online Intervention for Parents of Young Children

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The efficacy of a pilot version of an online parent intervention that combined Language ENvironment Analysis (LENA)–based automated language environment feedback technology with Internet capabilities was investigated. Seventy-two parents of typically developing children aged 9 to 21 months were assigned to immediate- or delayed-treatment (control) conditions. During the treatment phase, parents completed 10 recordings over a 3-month period while engaging in a web-based program supporting interpretation of LENA feedback reports and strategies for increasing talk and interaction. Parents completed additional recordings and language assessments over a 9-month follow-up phase. Aggregate analyses found no differences in language behaviors between immediate-treatment versus delayed-treatment groups. However, parents who started from below average ratings on automated language measures demonstrated significant postintervention increases which held longitudinally. Importantly, participant children showed significant elevations in language ability. Results suggest that an online intervention approach can help some parents increase talk and interaction in the home. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.

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