PICCOLO meeting draws international visitors

Aug 31, 2015

By Sue Reeves

Image of people sitting around a table.
International visitors to the CPD learn more about the PICCOLO tool during a recent three-day meeting.

A recent three-day research meeting brought together 18 people from five countries to learn about and discuss Parenting Interactions with Children: Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO™). The gathering was hosted by researchers at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.

“It went great,” said Mark Innocenti, director of the CPD’s research and evaluation division and one of the developers of the tool. “People are interested in PICCOLO™. The Chinese participants are working on two different projects—one research study and one possible foundation funded grant.”

The group also included participants from Spain, Brazil, Chile and the United States.

PICCOLO was designed to assess and monitor the quality of parent–child interactions, provides home visiting, parent education, and early childhood programs with valuable information for strengthening parenting practices. Developed for use with parents of children 10–47 months, PICCOLO™ measures 29 developmentally supportive parenting behaviors proven to promote school readiness in four domains—Affection, Responsiveness, Encouragement, and Teaching. The tool was developed after extensive research with more than 2,000 diverse families. Results from the PICCOLO™ will help programs provide positive feedback to parents, plan individualized family interventions, and measure program effectiveness.

The first day of the event included introductions of the people and projects involved in the meeting, an overview of developmental parenting measurement, and an introduction to observing and scoring with PICCOLO™.

On the second day, the use of PICCOLO in research and intervention was discussed and the participants practiced observing and scoring with the instrument. Later, a discussion about parenting and child development research across cultures and languages was held, as well as the use of PICCOLO™ with fathers and non-parent caregivers.

On the final day the group discussed how to build collaborations and the translation of the PICCOLO™ instrument into other languages.

“They were together almost 24/7, and most were hosted in homes,” by the local participants, said Lori Roggman, a professor in the department of Family, Consumer and Human Development at USU and CPD Faculty Fellow. “It was not only solid training, but a lot of discussion on how to apply it for programs with parents, grandparents, research, parents of children with disabilities and high-risk families.”

Local attendees included Innocenti, Roggman, CPD researcher Vonda Jump Norman, former CPD researcher Gina Cook, CPD researcher Eduardo Ortiz, and director of the Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Center and CPD Faculty Fellow Lisa Boyce.

For more information about PICCOLO™, click here. 

 

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