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Abecedarian Research

Ten scientific studies on the Abecedarian Approach are listed in this table. The first three Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) demonstrated the long-lasting benefits of the Abecedarian Approach delivered through high quality group child care. Children in the first two of those studies were at risk from multiple social conditions such as poverty, young maternal age, or low parental education. Other children in two orphanage studies were at risk due to parental abandonment.
But, importantly, children in some of the studies came from a wide range of social classes. Many of these children had no additional risk other than being born at low birth weight or with cerebral palsy.
The educational program or intervention in all of the studies was the full Abecedarian Approach (Language Priority, Enriched Caregiving, Conversational Reading, and LearningGames) except the Cerebral Palsy study which used only the LearningGames element of the Abecedarian Approach. Two of the recent studies focused on Indigenous children and families in Canada and Australia. The study in Australia, which will be submitted for publication in 2019, was a cohort study rather than an RCT, since we choose to intervene with every child in two remote villages.
Abecedarian 10 is a particularly interesting study since it was conducted in three middle- and low-income countries and showed that home visits every two weeks delivering the Abecedarian Approach produced complete cognitive catch-up by age 36 months for children from low-resource families. A new RCT study (not yet in the displayed table) has received funding and will begin in 2019 in Denmark.
Craig Ramey was the Principal Investigator on the original Abecedarian longitudinal studies. Frances Campbell was the Principal Investigator on most of the adult follow-up studies.

Selected Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

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