The Evidence Base for How and Why Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultations Works
Keywords:IECMHC, Early childhood, Early childhood mental health
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is an evidence-based service in which consultants build capacity for early childhood professionals and programs to promote the social-emotional development of infants and young children. This paper describes the current state of the evidence for IECMHC, mapping the evidence to a new theory of change from the Center of Excellence (CoE) for IECMHC. There is a substantial literature base regarding the effects of consultation on outcomes for infants and young children; yet the evidence for consultation’s specific mechanisms of change, moderators of impact, and reductions in disparities have been understudied. The authors identify gaps in the scholarly literature, articulate next steps for research, and conclude with a call to action for IECMHC researchers to expand rigorous studies to the range of settings in which IECMHC is implemented and to center social justice in the research questions, methods, and dissemination.
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