Program

Sep 06, 2011

OVERVIEW

Family TIES is a
home-visiting program for first time adolescent mothers and their infants.
Paraprofessional family advocates provide support and encouragement for the
mothers in their home setting. An evaluation of the program found significantly
improved home environment when the child was 12 months old, but had no impact on
mothers’ child-rearing beliefs, self-esteem, or depression at 12 months.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target
population: 
First time teenage mothers

Family TIES is a
program designed to help teenage mothers support their children from the
prenatal period until the child enters kindergarten. Goals of the program
include mothers’ high school completion, employment, reduction of additional
unintended pregnancies, and improved child care. Mothers receive weekly home
visits by a paraprofessional, who establishes a trusting relationship with the
mother and their family, provides information about available services, provides
emotional and instrumental support, and encourages the mother to finish high
school. The visiting family advocates are each assigned 12 mothers. Family
advocates are trained for three months.

EVALUATION(S) OF
PROGRAM

Luster, T.,
Perlstadt, H., McKinney, M., Sims, K., & Juang, L. (1996). The effects of a
family support program and other factors on the home environments provided by
adolescent mothers. Family Relations, 45(3), 255-264.

Evaluated
population:
The participants in this program were 83 teen mothers and their
children from Flint, Michigan. Approximately 57 percent of the mothers were
African American, and approximately 35 percent of the mothers were Caucasian; 48
percent had experienced some form of abuse. Fifty-four percent of the infants
were male.

Approach:
Participants were randomly assigned to the intensive Family TIES program (n =
43) or a less intensive support program (Standard Program) (n = 40). Mothers in
the Standard Program interact with their family advocate via phone and mail.
One family advocate serves all of the mothers in the Standard Program group, and
this family advocate stays at a local health center and aims to provide
information about services, help with emergency situations, and encouragement.
Mothers were interviewed at baseline, when the child was six months old, and
when the child was twelve months old. Data were collected on the home
environment when the child was twelve months old. The observation of the Home
Environment (HOME) measure assesses the mother’s emotional and verbal
responsivity, acceptance of child’s behavior, organization of physical and
temporal environment, provision of appropriate play materials, parent
involvement with the child, and opportunities for variety in daily stimulation.
Mothers were assessed at baseline and when the child was twelve months old on
child-rearing beliefs and self-esteem using the Rosenberg scale, and on
depression using the CES-D depression inventory when the child was twelve months
old.

Results:
There were no significant differences between the two groups at baseline. At 12
months, participants in the Family TIES program had significantly higher home
environment scores than participants in the Standard Program. There was a
marginally significant interaction between group and race, indicating that there
was a larger impact for African American mothers than for other ethnic groups.
Family TIES participants also had significantly higher scores on two home
environment subscales that assess emotional and verbal responsivity and maternal
involvement when compared with the Standard Program. None of the other home
environment subscales had significant impacts. There were no impacts on
mothers’ child rearing beliefs, self-esteem, or depression when comparing the
two groups at 12 months.

SOURCES FOR MORE
INFORMATION

References:

Luster, T.,
Perlstadt, H., McKinney, M., Sims, K., & Juang, L. (1996). The effects of a
family support program and other factors on the home environments provided by
adolescent mothers. Family Relations, 45(3), 255-264.

KEYWORDS:
Adolescents, Infants, Youth, Males and Females (co-ed), African American,
Adolescent Mothers, Urban, Home-based, Home Visitation, Depression/Mood
Disorders, Self-esteem/Self-Concept, Parent-Child Relationship

Program
information last updated 9/6/11.