“Buone madri lo sono sempre state”: uno studio etnografico dell’intervento precoce a Dublino

Rodolfo Maggio


“They’ve always been good mothers”: an ethnographic study of early childhood intervention in Dublin

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are considered the “gold standard” in the evaluation of early childhood intervention (ECI) initiatives. These trials, although designed to answer the question of whether the intervention has been effective or not, do not illustrate its mechanisms. Ethnography is better positioned to observe the long-term, intimate relationships among the actors involved and the process of program delivery. Preparing for Life (PFL) is one of the few ECI initiatives to be studied with a combination of both methodologies. A central aspect of the PFL program is the “good relationship” between mothers and mentors, as recognized by the RCT. Looking ethnographically at the “logical model” illustrates how it does not reflect the “good relationship,” which is better explained with a blend of relational theories.




Early Childhood Intervention, Randomized Controlled Trial, Interdisci- plinarity, Darndale, Inequality.

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