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RCT assessing the effectiveness of Háblame Bebé (Larson et al., 2022)

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posted on 2022-01-25, 23:48 authored by Anne L. Larson, Melissa Baralt, Joanna Hokenson, Carol Scheffner Hammer, Tyson BarrettTyson Barrett, Nicole DeVilbiss
Purpose: This study examined the effectiveness of a standalone mobile application (app), Háblame Bebé, for use in real-world settings without supplemental human interaction to promote Spanish-speaking mothers’ language interactions with their young children and associated child bilingual (Spanish–English) language development.
Method: Thirty-seven Spanish-speaking Latina mothers with lower incomes and their children were randomly assigned to experimental and wait-list control groups for 12 weeks. The experimental group was introduced to the app to learn how to provide language-promoting strategies in the home language and encouraged to use the app to track child vocabulary growth and overall development. Mother and child outcomes were measured before and after intervention via standardized assessments, direct observations, and parent report. Engagement and social validity data were also gathered.
Results: No statistically significant differences were identified between experimental and control groups. However, looking at the magnitude of the difference between groups, child outcomes consistently favored the experimental group (d = 0.2–0.4). Mothers reported high levels of acceptance of the intervention.
Conclusions: Culturally and linguistically responsive app-based interventions have the potential to serve as a unique delivery model for speech-language pathologists and other professionals to share critical information on bilingual language development with parents of young children who are learning in a bilingual context. Clinical and research implications are discussed, including the consideration that low-intensity interventions may need to be paired with ongoing parent coaching.

Supplemental Material S1. Video walkthrough of the app.

Larson, A. L., Baralt, M., Hokenson, J., Hammer, C. S., Barrett, T., & DeVilbiss, N. (2022). A randomized controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of the Háblame Bebé mobile application with Spanish-speaking mothers experiencing economic hardship. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


This project was funded in part by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Office of Multicultural Affairs and Utah State University’s Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling.