Prediction of Early Engagement and Completion of a Home Visitation Parenting Intervention for Preventing Child Maltreatment


  • Jennifer B. Lefever University of Notre Dame
  • Kathryn M. Bigelow University of Kansas
  • Judith J. Carta University of Kansas
  • John G. Borkowski University of Notre Dame


Objective: We examined predictors of engagement and completion in a randomized trial comparing the effectiveness of two interventions for preventing child maltreatment and promoting positive parenting. Methods: Participants in this study were 255 mother-child dyads, most of whom were enrolled in Head Start programs, were randomly assigned to a 5-session home visitation intervention (Planned Activities Training-PAT) or to a similar parenting intervention enhanced by the addition of cell phone calls and text messages (CPAT). Results: (1) Early engagement and participation in the cellular phone enhanced program predicted intervention completion, and (2) the quality of parenting prior to entrance in the program predicted engagement. Conclusions: The results have important implications for engagement and completion in home visitation programs aimed at promoting positive parenting among high- risk mothers.  Implications for practitioners are also discussed.






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