An up to date overview of one of the longest-running home visiting programs, emphasizing school readiness and early literacy in toddlers


Messages from Home

The Parent-Child Home Program for Overcoming Educational Disadvantage

Revised and Updated Edition

Phyllis Levenstein and Susan Levenstein

paper EAN: 978-1-59213-677-3 (ISBN: 159213677X)
$32.95, Apr 08, Available
cloth EAN: 978-1-59213-676-6 (ISBN: 1592136761)
$84.50, Apr 08, Available
Electronic Book EAN: 978-1-59213-678-0 (ISBN: 1592136788)
288 pp 6x9 8 tables

"Leading scholars disagree about the value of home-visiting services in improving child development. This book presents an evaluation of one of our nation's oldest and most theoretically sound home-visiting programs, adding evidence that home visiting is a worthwhile strategy for the early years. Must reading for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers."
Edward Zigler, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Yale University

"This new edition of Messages From Home documents Dr. Phyllis Levensteinís unique understanding of the importance of early parent-child relationships and the value of creating language-rich home environments. The forty years of evaluation summarized in the book demonstrate that the program is as effective and relevant today as it was in 1965."
Sarah E. Walzer, Executive Director, The Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program, a pre-preschool home visiting program, has grown greatly since the first edition of Messages from Home was published in 1988. This expanded and updated edition describes the continued success and expanded research base of this program-spearheaded by the late Phyllis Levenstein-which prepares at-risk children for school success, overcoming educational disadvantage.

Since The Parent-Child Home Program was founded in the 1960s, it has enriched the cognitive, social, and emotional school readiness of tens of thousands of children. The Program's methods, its theoretical underpinnings, and its impressive results are presented in detail and the success stories of both parents and children make inspiring reading, while a combination of lively writing and data-driven scientific rigor give it both broad appeal and academic relevance.


Excerpt available at


"Messages From Home is a fascinating book, documenting this important program from the inspiration and the needs it meets to the nuts and bolts of the ethical issues it raises."
Marsha Weinraub, Laura H. Carnell Professor, Chair of the Psychology Department at Temple University and investigator on the NICHD Study of Early Child Care

"Messages From Home depicts a thriving, growing, and remarkably effective program that helps busy parents connect with their children through play. By focusing on playful talk during the critical years when children are learning language, this program primes children to succeed despite the many obstacles associated with poverty. I will treasure this well-referenced book and its evocative stories of parents, children, and home-visitors playing and growing together."
Betty Bardige, author of At a Loss for Words: How America Is Failing Our Children and What We Can Do about It

ďMessages from Home is an important resource for those interested in child development and education. For researchers and for those who are beginning their careers in research, it demonstrates what can be learned through a well-thought out and well-conducted longitudinal investigation. Further, it provides insights about how Phyllis Levenstein and her colleagues grappled with issues of randomization, adequacy of research measures, fidelity of implementation, and the ethics of working with families. For practitioners and others who might want to replicate the Parent-Home Program, there is enough detail provided to make that decision. Finally, policy makers can learn about a very low cost intervention that has had a long-term impact on children who are at risk for educational disadvantage and their families.Ē
Teacherís College Record


Coauthor's Preface
Prologue to the Second Edition
1. Two Mothers, Two Children: Program Participants
2. Poverty in the Twenty-First Century: Parental Love Fights Back
3. "Show, Not Tell": The Parent-Child Home Program Method
4. Underpinnings: The Theory behind The Parent-Child Home Program
5. How Effective is The Parent-Child Home Program?
6. Methodological Issues in Intervention Research: Lessons from The Parent-Child Home Program Experience
7. From Laboratory to Real World: Successful Replication of a Successful Intervention
8. Preventing a Dream from Becoming a Nightmare: The Ethics of Home Visiting Programs
9. Ludic Literacy: Prelude to Instrumental Literacy
10. Messages from Home: Meditations and Conclusions
11. The Parent-Child Home Program in Writing: Publications by and about the Program, 1968-2007
Appendix. Outcome Measures Created by The Parent-Child Home Program


About the Author(s)

Phyllis Levenstein, Ed.D. (1916-2005), founded The Parent-Child Home Program in 1965. She was its Executive Director until 1997, after which she continued to work as the Program's Senior Investigator and as a clinical psychologist in private practice. Edward Zigler, the father of Head Start, describes her as "an icon" of the field of early childhood intervention, and Hillary Clinton has called her one of the United States' "finest child advocates, innovators, and clinicians."

Susan Levenstein, M.D., is a primary care internist practicing in Rome, Italy, and a clinical researcher. She has published widely on the interactions between psychological and physiological factors in disease, and has collaborated with her mother on studies of The Parent-Child Home Program.

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