Engagement and retention in home visiting family support programs Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v979v516p

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  • These two studies investigated maternal engagement and retention in a voluntary, home-visiting program. The program screened families at the birth of their first child for risk characteristics associated with poor child and family outcomes. Higher risk families were offered regular home visits and support for up to 5 years. In the first study, a two-level hierarchical general linear model (HGLM) was used to examine the impact of poor community health and maternal isolation on mother's active engagement in the program, following initial enrollment. Data came from 4,057 mothers with firstborn infants, who enrolled in the Oregon Healthy Start (OHS) home-visiting program from 1995 through 1998. At the time of this study OHS was operating in 15 Oregon counties. Results showed that living in a county characterized by poor community health, or maternal isolation from supportive family and friendship networks, significantly reduced the likelihood of mothers actively engaging in home visits after enrollment. Hispanic mothers were significantly more likely to engage in services than mothers of other ethnicities. In the second study, a three-level hierarchical general linear model (HGLM) was used to investigate the impact of community violence, home visitor attributes, and maternal attributes on maternal retention in the OHS home-visiting program. Data came from 1,093 mothers with firstborn infants, served by 71 home visitors, residing in 12 communities being served by the OHS program prior to February 2000. Results showed that mothers who lived in communities that displayed higher levels of community violence were less likely to remain in the OHS program. Mothers were more likely to remain in the program when served by home visitors who received more active supervision. Mothers who were older were more likely to remain in the OHS program than were younger mothers. Hispanic mothers were more likely to remain in the OHS program than were mothers of other ethnic groups. Each study presents the implications for programmatic application.
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