Engaging Urban Parents of Early Adolescents in Parenting Interventions: Home Visits vs. Group Sessions

Finigan-Carr, Nadine M.; Copeland-Linder, Nikeea; Haynie, Denise L.; Cheng, Tina L.
September 2014
School Community Journal;Fall2014, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p63
Academic Journal
Interventions targeting parents of young children have shown effectiveness, but research is lacking about best practices for engaging parents of early adolescents. Low levels of enrollment and attendance in parenting interventions present major problems for researchers and clinicians. Effective and efficient ways to engage and collaborate with parents to strengthen parenting practices and to promote healthy development of early adolescents are needed. This exploratory mixed methods study examined the feasibility of three methods of engaging parents in positive parenting activities. Participants were parents of youth ages 11-13 enrolled in three urban, public middle schools in neighborhoods characterized by high rates of community violence. Families (N = 144) were randomized into one of three interventions: six home sessions, two home sessions followed by four group sessions, or six group sessions. The majority of parents were single, non-Hispanic, African American mothers. Urban parents of middle school students were more likely to participate in home visits than in group sessions; offering a combination did not increase participation in the group sessions. As only 34% of those who consented participated in the intervention, qualitative data were examined to explain the reasons for nonparticipation.


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