Attachment & Biobehavioral Catch-up

The Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) is a home-visiting parenting program developed by Dr. Mary Dozier to help parents nurture and respond sensitively to their infants and toddlers to foster their development and form strong and healthy relationships.

ABC is unique in the home-visiting field in that it is brief (10 weekly sessions), thus requiring a low cost per family and is flexible in the home visiting space. There are no requirements for home visitor background or education, allowing communities to create the implementation model that will be most effective and sustainable. It is truly strengths-based, striving to help parents see all the things they are doing well, as opposed to pointing out what they need to do differently.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

Intended outcomes for ABC:
  • Children are more likely to be securely attached to their caregivers
  • On average, children develop more normative diurnal stress hormone patterns (see right)
  • Children develop better impulse control
  • Children are less likely to express anger during a challenging task
  • Children are better able to switch between tasks (executive functioning)
  • Children have more advanced receptive language abilities
  • Parents respond to their young children with more sensitive behaviors

Continuum of Care:

Topic Areas:

Early Childhood (0-3)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, Virtual

Cultural Considerations:
Limited research found involving diverse populations

Children 2 and under with early adversity

No educational requirements for parent coaches.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Attachment & Biobehavioral Catch-up

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Caron, E. B., Bernard, K., & Dozier, M. (2018). In vivo feedback predicts parent behavior change in the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up intervention. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 47(sup1), S35-S46.

Bernard, K., Kuzava, S., Simons, R., & Dozier, M. (2018). CPS-referred mothers’ psychophysiological responses to own versus other child predict sensitivity to child distress. Developmental psychology, 54(7), 1255.

Berlin, L. J., Martoccio, T. L., & Jones Harden, B. (2018). Improving early head start’s impacts on parenting through attachment-based intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 54(12), 2316.

Tabachnick, A. R., He, Y., Zajac, L., Carlson, E. A., & Dozier, M. (2022). Secure attachment in infancy predicts context-dependent emotion expression in middle childhood. Emotion, 22(2), 258.

Additional Sources:

Promising rating

WV Rating:
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Some studies showed limited research with positive feedback. The studies showed decrease of negative interactions but did not consistently show an increase in positive parent interaction.

Contraindications or Concerns:
The populations researched may not be reflective of West Virginia populations.

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Found on the registry. See link for more information.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy Registry Link: