The Effects of a Healthy Families Home Visitation Program on Rapid and Teen Repeat Births
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The prevention of Rapid Repeat Births (RRBs) and Teen Repeat Births (TRBs) is an important indicator of the effectiveness of home visitation programs that serve mothers who are at-risk for child maltreatment. This study examined the effects on RRBs and TRBs of a rural/small town home visitation program based on the Healthy Families America (HFA) model. The participants in this study were referred between 1999 and 2007 and included a Treatment Group of 140 at-risk mothers who met minimum engagement criteria and a Comparison Group of 241 at-risk mothers who were referred for services but not enrolled due to limits on program capacity. In addition, county-wide TRB data was used as the basis for a static group comparison. With regard to RRBs, the rates for the Treatment (18%) and Comparison (30%) groups were compared using a Chi-Square test of homogeneity. The null hypothesis that there would be no difference between the rates for the two groups was rejected at the .05 level. Similarly, with regard to TRBs, the null hypothesis that there would be no difference between the rates for the Treatment (9%) and Comparison (27%) groups was rejected at that .01 level. Furthermore, using a Chi-Square test of independence, this investigation tested the null hypothesis that the rates for the two groups would not differ from the county-wide rate (24%). This hypothesis was also rejected at the .01 level. Overall, these results of this inquiry support the conclusion that participants in a rigorously implemented HFA program show significantly lower rates of RRB and TRB when compared to a comparable group of at-risk nonparticipants. They also appear to have a significantly lower incidence of TRB than teen mothers in the general population.
KeywordsRapid repeat birth Adolescent birth Home visiting Healthy families America
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