Jacobs, F., Easterbrooks, A., & Mistry, J. (2015). The Massachusetts Healthy Families evaluation-2 (MHFE-2): A randomized, controlled trial of a statewide home visiting program for young parents: Final report to the Children's Trust of Massachusetts. Medford, MA: Tufts Interdisciplinary Evaluation Research.
Citation Year
Additional Source
Used in Implementation Reports
Study Participants
Among the 837 women who were recruited for the study, 517 were randomly assigned to receive home visiting services and 320 were randomly assigned to a control group that received referral and information only. Eligible participants were female, first-time parents between the ages of 16 and 20 and spoke either English or Spanish. The ethnicity of the full sample was as follows: 37 percent white non-Hispanic, 19 percent black non-Hispanic, 36 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent of other race/ethnicities. On average, mothers were 18.8 years old upon the birth of the child. Eighteen percent received cash assistance and 17 percent received food assistance prior to enrollment in the study.
The study took place within 18 sites in Massachusetts.
Home Visiting Services
Home visiting services were offered from pregnancy through the child's third birthday. On average, mothers received 24 home visits over 14.7 months. In addition to home visiting, the program included goal-setting and group-based activities and linkages and referrals to additional resources.
Comparison Conditions
Mothers in the comparison condition received information about child development and were referred to other services but they did not receive home visits.
Staff Characteristics and Training
Staff characteristics and training were not described in the current study; however, they were described in the Initial Findings Report (Easterbrooks et al., 2012). Home visitors were paraprofessionals with demonstrated skills in working with families and building trusting relationships. They were required to complete a six-day training at the time of their hire and 10 additional topic trainings within their first year. They also participated in 1 to 1.5 hours of supervision activities with their supervisors each week.
Author Affiliation
The authors are affiliated with Tufts Interdisciplinary Evaluation Research, the evaluation partner of Massachusetts Healthy Families.
Funding Sources
The evaluation was funded by the Children's Trust of Massachusetts.
Study Reg
Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01926223. Study registration was assessed by HomVEE beginning with the 2014 review.
Confounding Factors
Baseline Equivalence
Established on race and ethnicity; not established on SES or baseline measures of the outcomes; some outcomes not feasible to assess at baseline.
Screening Decision
Passes screens
Design Detail
Randomized controlled trial