Project Overview +

PRAAIS (Project for African American Infant Safety) defines the specific barriers to infant supine sleep encountered by African American parents and how parents of supine sleeping infants overcame them.

Intervention group parents receive a two dose tailored intervention (brochures and DVDs) mailed to them at infant ages 4-6 weeks old and 4 months. Control group parents receive brochures encouraging supine sleep published by the CDC and AAP mailed at the same time intervals as the intervention materials.

Related Media +

Related Media:

Aims +

Aim 1. Determine whether a significantly greater proportion of AA parents who receive tailored multi-media educational and motivational materials promoting infant supine sleep use the supine infant sleep position at infant ages three and six months than parents who receive the currently available non-tailored materials.

Aim 2. Determine whether the intervention effect is enhanced when the intervention materials portray an AA physician-model instead of a NHW physician-model.

Aim 3. Examine moderators and mediators of the intervention effect, especially household composition, parental ethnic identity and stressors.

Hypothesis 1. Providing peer-tested practical solutions to parents' perceived barriers to infant supine sleep and motivational messages in a tailored, multi-media intervention will enhance AA parental self-efficacy and motivation in using the supine position for the first six months of life to a greater degree than standard non-tailored materials.

Hypothesis 2. The tailored intervention will increase the proportion of supine sleeping infants at infant ages three and six months by 10 - 15% above control group rates.

Hypothesis 3. The intervention effect will be greater in parents who strongly embrace their AA identity and receive intervention materials portraying a race-concordant physician-model.

Participants +

350 parents of newborns in Detroit, Michigan

Intervention +

The intervention is based on focus group data collected in Year 1. The randomized controlled trial tests a tailored, multi-media intervention to enhance the self-efficacy of African American parents in keeping their infants comfortable in the supine sleep position throughout the first six months of life.

Intervention materials consist of two tailored print brochures and two DVDs, mailed to parents at two separate time.

The DVD features either an African American or White pediatrician, aged 40-50, demonstrating the approved safe infant sleep environment and position.

The print brochure has three parts: 

  1. a brief message reviewing the importance of the sleep environment and supine sleep for SIDS prevention from a pediatrician, accompanied by a photograph of a pediatrician of the same race as in the DVD;
  2. tips to enhance parental self-efficacy in infant supine sleep tailored to reported barriers and infant age;
  3. a testimonial about the efficacy of supine sleep from an African American grandmother figure. The content of this part of the brochure is tailored to the demographics and household characteristics of the parent.

The first brochure and DVD is mailed when the infant is 6 weeks of age. The sleep barriers discussed are about colic and prolonged infant crying.

The second brochure and DVD are mailed when the infant is 4 months old. Sleep barriers discussed in this brochure are focused on handling the more mobile infant.


09/30/2010 - 05/31/2015


National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Principal Investigator:

Kathryn L. Moseley, MD, MPH, FAAP


Victor J. Strecher, PhD, MPH