Researchers recruited 355 primiparous women from county health departments at or before the 28th week of gestation. Those living in 5 of 12 participating counties received the CBFRS intervention, whereas those living in 7 comparison counties were assigned to the comparison group. Authors collected data from the mothers at baseline and when infants were 6 and 12 months old. At 6 months, 248 mothers participated in data collection, and 263 participated at 12 months. Among those remaining in the study at the 12-month assessment, less than a third in each study group was a minority, and approximately 6 in 10 were enrolled in Medicaid at baseline. Average education in the two study groups was less than 12 years, and mothers were slightly younger than 20 years old, on average, at the time of their child’s birth. This study used the same sample as Culp et al. (2007).
The study was conducted in 12 rural counties in Oklahoma.
Mothers in the CBFRS condition were visited weekly during the first month after enrollment, and then biweekly for the remainder of their pregnancy. After the babies were born, the mothers were visited weekly for the first three months; biweekly from 3 to 21 months; and monthly from 21 to 26 months. The curriculum had three foci: teaching about child development and parenting, teaching about child and maternal health, and modeling parenting skills. Although the curriculum was based on a set manual, the one-hour home visits were flexible in that the mothers selected topics of their interest within each of the three foci. Home visitors provided feedback to the health department about services delivered and unmet needs.
Comparison group members received the same number of home visits from facilitators, which included discussions about new infant skills during the previous week and infant development and assessment. Facilitators provided mothers with answers to and handouts about their questions on infant skill development.
Home visitors were women with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in child development (80 percent) or were attending college and had a minimum of five years’ experience working with families (20 percent). All received more than 40 hours of preservice training and received ongoing training and weekly supervision.
Funding for the study was provided by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City, OK.
Culp, A. M., Culp, R. E., Hechtner-Galvin, T., Howell, C. S., Saathoff-Wells, T., & Marr, P. (2004). First-time mothers in home visitation services utilizing child development specialists. Infant Mental Health Journal, 25(1), 1-15. doi:10.100