Family Spirit serves young Native American mothers from the time they are pregnant until the child’s third birthday. One study enrolled 86 mothers into the Family Spirit intervention and the other enrolled 159 mothers. All participants across both studies were Native American mothers who were 18 years old, on average. In one study, 24 percent of participants spoke only their native language in the home.
Nearly all of the women in both studies were unmarried (94 and 96 percent, respectively). In one study, 41 percent of the mothers had completed high school, a general equivalency diploma, or some college and 13 percent were currently employed. In the other study, 40 percent of the mothers were in school, 27 percent had completed high school or a general equivalency diploma, and 8 percent of the mothers were employed. Almost half (48 percent) of the women had lived in two or more homes within the past year, 7 percent did not have electricity in their home, and 9 percent did not have indoor plumbing (one study).
Some of the women had one or more children (23 and 9 percent, respectively), and according to one of the studies, 19 percent of the pregnancies were planned. Most mothers (67 and 77 percent, respectively) lived with their parents or the baby’s father’s parents. Most fathers (73 percent) were also living with the mothers, and 12 percent of women lived with their baby’s father apart from their own parents (one study). In addition, during pregnancy, 18 percent of mothers used alcohol, 23 percent used cigarettes, 14 percent used marijuana, and 37 percent of the women exhibited depressive symptoms (one study).
Participation in the Family Spirit program was voluntary (both studies).