Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Interim Report. 8.6.5 Child Care Practices

01/08/2001

Caretakers were asked a series of yes-no questions about child care practices at the end of treatment and in the last three months at follow-up (both positive and negative). The results from these questions are shown in Table 8-8 and 8-9. In addition, three scales were formed using these items: positive child care practices (5 items), negative child care practices (10 items), and punishment (5 items, all of which are also included in the negative child care practices scale). Results from the scales are shown in Tables 8-38-4 and 8-5.

Table 8-8.
Caretaker reports of child care practices, post-treatment interview
  Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
Control Experimental   Control Experimental   Control Experimental  
N % N % p N % N % p N % N % p
Lost temper when child got on nerves 145 43 147 46   132 63 209 59   37 27 77 35  
Found that hitting child was good 143 6 147 7   131 12 208 8   37 19 76 8 0.09
Hitting child harder that meant to 143 8 147 6   131 10 208 5   37 5 75 8  
Out of control when punishing child 144 24 146 24   131 40 209 30 0.05 36 11 76 12  
Have you praised your children 144 94 146 92   132 92 209 92   37 92 76 91  
Listened to music together w/child 144 86 146 86   132 86 209 82   37 92 77 90  
Tied child with cord- string-belt 142 0 146 0   132 1 209 0   37 0 76 1  
Gone to amusement park, pool, picnic 143 71 145 65   130 46 208 37 0.08 37 43 76 68 0.01
Uncomfortable hugging child 126 5 134 6   95 5 144 6   33 9 72 4  
Encouraged child to read book 137 92 140 90   126 82 202 91 0.02 34 94 72 96  
Have children handled household chores 127 79 125 80   126 75 200 83 0.09 34 91 72 93  
Not let children into the house 138 2 137 2   127 8 202 4   33 3 72 1  
Punished for not finishing food 139 7 139 1 0.02 126 6 204 5   33 0 71 0  
Blamed child w/ things not their fault 142 39 142 33   128 28 204 20 0.07 35 31 75 44  
Let child to play where not allowed 138 2 138 4   123 1 200 4   33 0 71 1  
Unable to find someone to watch children 144 9 146 12   131 21 206 12 0.04 35 20 73 27  

NOTE: "FE" indicates significance determined by Fisher's exact test


Table 8-9.
Caretaker reports of child care practices, follow-up interview
  Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
Control Experimental   Control Experimental   Control Experimental  
N % N % p N % N % p N % N % p
Lost temper when child got on nerves 113 44 121 41   106 60 167 57   36 22 72 18  
Found that hitting child was good 113 6 121 4   105 5 167 4   36 8 71 6  
Hitting child harder that meant to 113 3 121 5   105 6 167 1 .06 36 6 71 3  
Out of control when punishing child 112 21 121 23   105 32 167 25   36 14 71 7  
Have you praised your children 113 89 121 91   106 92 167 94   36 97 72 93  
Listened to music together w/child 113 82 121 84   106 81 167 86   36 94 69 93  
Tied child with cord- string-belt 113 0 121 2   106 1 167 1   36 0 70 0  
Gone to amusement park, pool, picnic 113 74 121 70   106 48 167 44   35 94 70 90  
Uncomfortable hugging child 102 4 110 5   74 5 116 6   35 6 66 3  
Encouraged child to read book 107 83 115 81   103 87 160 89   34 100 67 96  
Have children handled household chores 101 75 104 75   103 70 160 83 .02 34 94 63 89  
Not let children into the house 106 0 115 0   103 3 162 3   33 3 64 3  
Punished for not finishing food 109 3 116 2   103 2 162 2   33 3 65 3  
Blamed child w/ things not their fault 109 34 116 42   103 21 162 23   33 15 66 14  
Let child to play where not allowed 109 1 114 0   101 2 160 1   33 0 65 3  
Unable to find someone to watch children 111 3 122 0   103 17 165 18   33 21 67 19  

Kentucky. In the post-treatment interview, "punishment for not finishing food" was the only item for which there were significant differences between the experimental and control groups, with a greater proportion of the control group responding affirmatively. There were no items on which there were significant differences at follow-up.

There were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups with regard to the positive and negative child care practice scales at the time of the second or third interviews. Both groups responded affirmatively to over 80 percent of the positive items and less than 15 percent of the negative items at both points in time. There were also no significant differences in change over time, in both groups there was a decline in the number of negative child care practices over time. With regard to the 5 items that pertain to punishment, caretakers in the experimental group responded affirmatively to a greater average proportion of punishment items than did the caretakers from the control group (.25 vs .20, p = .067) at the initial interview. At post-treatment, the average proportion of punishment items answered affirmatively were nearly the same (.17 for experimental group vs. .16 for the control group). Thus, from the first interview to the second, the reduction in the average proportion of punishment items endorsed was greater for the experimental group than for the control group (.09 fewer vs. .04 fewer, p= .054).18 However, across the three points in time, there were no significant differences in change.

New Jersey. On two of the items there were significant differences between the experimental and control groups at post-treatment: "have things sometimes gotten out of control when you punished your children?" happened more often in the control group and "have you encouraged your child to read a book?" which was done more often by experimental group respondents. At follow-up, there were two other items with differences: more control group respondents said they hit their child harder than they meant to (6% vs. 1%, p = .06) while more experimental group respondents said they had the children handle household chores (83% vs. 70%, p = .02).

On the scales, there were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups with respect to the positive child care practice items at either post-treatment or follow-up. At both points in time, both groups responded affirmatively to over 75 percent of the items. There were significant differences between the experimental and control groups with respect to the negative child care practice items at post-treatment. Caretakers in the experimental group responded affirmatively to 14 percent of the items whereas caretakers in the control group responded affirmatively to 18 percent of the items (p = .02). The difference disappeared at follow-up. At post-treatment, the experimental group significantly less often used punishment (.20 vs. .25, p = .04), but the difference was not statistically significant in the secondary analysis (p = .08) or in the primary analysis at follow-up (p = .15). There were no significant differences between groups in the change in changes over time in proportion of negative child care practice or punishment items.

Tennessee. At post-treatment, on one item there was a significant difference between experimental and control groups; more experimental group respondents indicated they had gone to an amusement park, pool, or picnic (68% vs. 43%, p = .01). There were no items with significant differences at follow-up. There were no significant differences in any of the three scales at either post-treatment or follow-up, nor in changes over time. The experimental group had a higher negative child care practices score at the first interview, and declined more than the control group, resulting in a nearly significant multivariate time-group interaction (p = .09) and a significant univariate comparison of the first interview score with the average of the scores from the later two interviews (p = .03).


(18)  In the secondary analysis, there was again a .09 reduction in the average proportion of punishment items endorsed by the experimental group and a .04 reduction for the control group (p = .03).