ERIC Number: ED455957
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Feb
Parental Engagement in Home Visiting Programs--Findings from the Parents as Teachers Multisite Evaluation.
Wagner, Mary; Spiker, Donna; Gerlach-Downie, Suzanne; Hernandez, Frances
This report presents the findings of a reassessment of an ongoing, multi-site evaluation of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program. The evaluation had, from its inception, included data collection and analyses regarding engagement; however, a reassessment of research questions driving the evaluation shifted engagement from a secondary role as a predictor of outcomes to a primary focus of the research. Data gathered as part of the PAT evaluation were used to explore the multiple dimensions of parental engagement and key factors influencing the dynamic engagement process. Following an introductory chapter, chapter 2 of the report describes data sources and analysis methods. Chapter 3 highlights the multiple dimensions of parental engagement in the PAT home visiting program; this is followed in chapter 4 by an analysis of the characteristics of parents that appear to be related to different levels and kinds of engagement. Chapter 5 considers the characteristics and perspectives of parent educators as they relate to parental engagement. Chapter 6 considers the implications that the subject matter of home visiting--information about parenting and child development that is intended to improve parenting behaviors--has for engagement. Strategies for encouraging greater engagement that parent educators report to be effective are outlined in chapter 7, and the final chapter summarizes the findings and remaining questions that could guide further research. Findings include the following: (1) engagement is multidimensional; (2) some dimensions of engagement are independent of others; (3) there is no single profile of an engaged parent; (4) some assumptions regarding barriers to engagement appear to be inaccurate; (5) "intangibles" in the lives of families may be significant influences on engagement; (6) some parent educator qualities were fairly universally reported as crucial to engaging parents successfully; (7) the PAT program's focus on child development and parenting behaviors poses particular challenges for engaging parents; and (8) parent educators use a variety of implicit and explicit strategies to engage parents. (Contains 12 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ.; Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc., Greensboro, NC.
Authoring Institution: SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.
Note: With funding from the National Institute of Early Childhood Development and Education.