In this issue, I want to begin by expressing my gratitude to the 46 members of the IYC editorial board for their service over the past 5 years. Service is defined as the action of helping, or doing work for someone. Synonyms include kindness, favor, good turn, assistance. All of these words describe the editorial board’s collective and individual contribution to IYC: to me as editor; to the journal itself; and most importantly, to those who have read and benefited from each of the 131 articles published by IYC during this time. These articles represent an acceptance rate just below 50%, though only 5% of submissions were accepted at first review. This illustrates the commitment of the board to the editorial process of bringing a manuscript to publication readiness. For this, I thank each of them.
As you may know, I began my editorship by focusing on expanding the articles in the journal in three ways. First, I actively sought out international authors to emphasize the growing presence of early childhood intervention in most countries today and to highlight the IYC relationship to the International Society of Early Intervention. I must single out and thank Dr. Robin McWilliams for his tireless contributions to this area. As International Acquisitions Editor, Robin worked with every international author after they submitted their manuscript to IYC in order to assist in the initial review process. I thank him for the many hours he spent in this role, which became increasingly important to IYC as we increased the number of those from other countries who submitted their work for publication consideration.
Second, I placed a focus on working with novice authors to nurture scholarship and build capacity in our field. This meant that the editorial board became mentors to some of our authors who submitting their work for to IYC. In these cases, the reviewers were very thorough in their feedback, and the editorial process could become lengthy as a reviewer and I worked with an author(s) to bring a manuscript up to publication standards. I thank those board members who served in this capacity.
Last, I chose to highlight interdisciplinary research, education and service by encouraging manuscript submissions through programs in the Association of University Centers on Disabilities which is national network of training and research programs. Many from this network submitted their work to IYC, and because of this, IYC benefitted from this affiliation.
I cannot end my thanks for the service of others to IYC without acknowledging and offering my utmost gratitude to Linda Procko as Editorial Assistant. In actuality, she has been so much more than that to both IYC and at the University Of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Disabilities Education, Research and Service where we have worked together since 1987. It is because of Linda that IYC has succeeded under my editorship. I thank her for her continued hard work and dedication.
Our first article, by Jennifer T. Marshall and Linda M. Raffaele Mendez, focuses on the follow-up of children aged 3–5 years who demonstrated a developmental delay as identified by a community-based screening. Parents of 57 of these preschool-age children were interviewed by telephone about what had occurred after the identification of their children's needs. The majority of parents (70%) reported that they had connected to recommended services for their children, but only 54% reported that the service(s) met their children's needs. They identified unmet needs as including emotional-behavioral services, occupational therapy, child care and more service options, during after school hours and in rural areas. Implications for improving community-based services for children are discussed.
J. Kevin Nugent, Jessica Dym Bartlett, & Clarissa Valim authored the next article that provides evidence for the success of a brief intervention for postnatal depression delivered in the hospital and in the home with mothers. The Newborn Behavioral Observations is an infant-centered, relationship-based intervention that was used with 53 new mothers. A randomized control design was used to measure the effects of the intervention with the 53 mothers in comparison with 53 mothers who were randomly assigned to the control group. Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the mothers in the intervention group reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression 1 month after giving birth. The authors discuss the use of this intervention with mothers and their newborn infants.
The next article provides a synthesis of the literature on the “coaching” of parents of infants and young children with disabilities. Peggy Kemp and Ann Turnbull conducted a literature search on the (a) definitions and descriptions of coaching with parents; (b) characteristics of families and coaches; (c) parameters such as settings, contexts, dosage, and professional development related to coaching; and (d) child and family outcomes. The authors identified eight studies that met their search criteria over the period of 2011–2013. The analysis of these studies indicated that there is no common definition/description for the term “coaching” when used to describe interventions with parents in early intervention. The reviewed articles described a continuum of coaching interventions that ranged from a relationship-directed process to an interventionist-directed process. The authors provide recommendations to the field about the use and descriptions of terminology used when describing a process to involve and engage parents in their children's learning.
A pilot study on the effects of distance coaching on teachers' ability to meet the social-emotional and behavioral needs of preschool-age children is described in the next article. Kathleen Artman Meeker, Mary Louise Hemmeter, and Patricia Snyder implemented this pilot with 33 Head Start teachers from nine centers. These teachers all participated in workshop-style training on the Pyramid Model of differentiated classroom practices for children's social-emotional development. Sixteen of the teachers also received weekly follow-up through distance coaching to help them implement the workshop content. The teachers who received this coaching demonstrated statistically significant improvements in emotional, organizational, and instructional classroom interactions as measured by project-developed checklists. Further analysis of the results suggested that teacher outcomes as measured by their ability to implement practices were influenced by their level of participation in the distance coaching.
Next, we present an article on a component of early intervention that forms the foundation for the implementation and evaluation of service delivery to families and their young children. Robyn Ridgley, Patricia Snyder, and Robin McWilliam, present an overview of a coding system designed to evaluate the amount and type of parent talk that occurs during individualized family service plan (IFSP) meetings. The authors describe an interactive process that was used to develop the Parent Communication Coding System. Reliability and validity of the code are provided, as are recommendations for its use at different types of IFSP meetings as a measure of quality assurance.
Our last article presents a study conducted in Germany that focused on preschool-age boys' social behavioral characteristics in relation to their developmental status and diagnosis. Sandra Achtergarde, Johanna Becke, Thomas Beyer, Christian Postert, Georg Romer, and Jörg Michael Müller examined the effects of a developmental disability on the presence and severity of behavior problems. Data from 78 boys, 27 of whom had a diagnosed developmental disability, were collected using the Child Behavior Checklist. Both parents and therapists rated the children on the checklist before and after treatment. Results suggested small to moderate differences between groups in the severity of specific emotional and behavior problems, although the ratings appeared to be influenced by the informant's perspective (parent vs. therapist) as well the group assignment of the preschooler, as opposed to a diagnostic category. Reasons for this finding are discussed.
As always, I thank the authors who chose to submit their manuscripts to IYC, and I thank the editorial board members who gave their time and expertise to help in the editorial process for this issue.
—Mary Beth Bruder, PhD Editor