ERIC Number: ED330530
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov-1
Reference Count: N/A
Against the Odds: Parenting in Disadvantaged Communities.
Clinton, Barbara; And Others
This report discusses the results of a qualitative evaluation of the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) project which served over 500 low-income women from 1982 through 1990. The MIHOW project provides outreach services to low-income families in rural communities in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Working in partnership with Vanderbilt University, locally based community organizations provide training and supervision to local women leaders, all of whom are uniquely qualified to support their peers and to implement high quality child development services. Forty-six participants responded to open-ended questions which were defined through focus groups. The report describes the poverty of the participants and their lack of education, health care, and employment. The extended family is often a source of support for mothers, but if the mother is unmarried, she is often rejected by her family. Although fathers are not active in the program, they show some interest in becoming involved. The MIHOW worker is able to develop and maintain a relationship with the client because of a shared history, sound information, confidentiality, and a warm personality. The MIHOW project has impacted participants in the following ways: (1) combatting isolation and loneliness; (2) developing a relationship with a caring person (the MIHOW worker); (3) fostering assertiveness; (3) improving self-esteem and goal setting; (4) making sounder health decisions for both mother and child; (5) improving children's skills; and (6) helping parents to gain insights into their children's behavior. Recommendations focus on relationships between workers and mothers, education and work needs, and additional group sharing meetings for participants. Numerous black and white photographs illustrate the text. Study questions are appended. (KS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN. Center for Health Services.
Identifiers: Appalachia; Kentucky; Tennessee; Virginia; West Virginia