This has been a busy and productive time, and we have also continued to be engaged in research about VIP and child development more broadly. This week, we published some of our strongest findings to date in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Pediatrics!
Our newest findings:
In this study, we looked at 450 children and parents who joined the study at NYC Health+Hospitals/ Bellevue as newborns and have been followed until they were four and a half years old, right before they were about to start school. Some children in this study took part in VIP as babies, from when they were newborns until they turned three years old (‘VIP 0-3’). Other children took part in VIP instead when they were preschool aged, from when they were three years old until four and a half (‘VIP 3-5’). Still others participated in VIP the entire time, from when they were newborns up through preschool when they were four and half. Finally, there were other children who did not participate in VIP at all.
At age four and a half, children who had been in VIP showed reductions in behaviors that could become problematic when the children start school – for example, attention problems, hyperactivity, and aggression.
Impressively, these findings at four and a half years of age were present even for children who took part in VIP only when they were babies and then stopped when they turned three, meaning that the changes in behavior lasted for at least a year and a half after the program ended! Also, children who started VIP when they were babies and continued as preschoolers had the largest reductions in problematic behaviors – both VIP 0-3 and VIP 3-5 separately contributed to these changes in behavior.
Take home message? VIP during infancy or during preschool years helps to reduce problematic behaviors before kids start school, with even larger benefits seen for kids in VIP from infancy through preschool!
Want to know more? Learn about our research here! Or check out this clip of Dr. Alan Mendelsohn on NYC's CBS Evening News!