The mission of the UCLA Family Development Project is to enhance the capacity of the members of a family to support each other and to effectively recognize and meet the needs of their infant. The comprehensive approach includes:

  • Pre- and post-natal health care
  • Weekly home visits for the first year and then every other week for the second year
  • Weekly mother-infant group (participants receive $10 per session)
  • Developmental assessment at the 1 and 2 year points (participants receive $25)
  • Psychiatric services where needed

Research participants are recruited in the third trimester from the following collaborating clinics:  Olive View-UCLA Ob/Gyn, UCLA Ob/Gyn, Venice Family Clinic, and Westside Family Health Center.  A mental health-child development home visitor begins regular visits to the mother's home, and through a growing positive relationship, addresses issues that the mother is concerned about. This ranges from simply listening to her concerns, to offering direct help in responding to her infant. At about two months, the mothers are encouraged to join a mother-infant group where they can meet and interact with other mothers, who may share the same questions and concerns. Mental health difficulties such as post-partum depression are common after the birth of a baby, and a part-time psychiatrist that can help diagnose and treat such difficulties is available. All of these services are available in both English and Spanish.

Most Recent Publications/Presentations include:

  • Heinicke, C.M. & Levine, M. S. (2008).  The Adult Attachment Interview Anticipates the Involvement in the Outcome of a Relation-based Early Intervention.  In H. Steele and M. Steel (Eds.) Clinical Uses of the Adult Attachment Interview.  NY:  Guildford Press.
  • Heinicke, C.M. & Vollmer, S. (2007).  Home Visiting and Psychiatric Preventive Intervention with First-Time, At-Risk Mothers. Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Boston, MA.
  • Heinicke, C.M., Goorsky, M., Levine, M., Ponce, V., Ruth, G., Silverman, M. & Sotelo, C. (2006)  Pre and Postnatal Antecedents of a Home Visiting Intervention and Family Developmental Outcome.  Infant Mental Health Journal, Vol. 27(1),  91-119.
  • Heinicke, C.M. (2006).  Breaking the cycle of child and partner abuse:  Maternal attachment, involvement in the work of the intervention, and family outcome.  UCLA NPI & H Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Grand Rounds.
  • Heinicke, C. M., Fineman, N. R., Ponce, V. A., & Guthrie, D. (2001). Relationship based intervention with at-risk mothers: Outcome in the second year of life. Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(4), 431-462.


UCLA Family Development Project
Nathanson Family Resilience Center
Semel Institute
760 Westwood Plaza, Room B8-233A
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1759

Director: Catherine Mogil, Psy.D.