By: Sharon McGroder, Pia Caronongan, Andrea Mraz Esposito, Subuhi Asheer, Ji-Hyeun Kwon-Min
This is the final report of a project that reviewed the evidence base for selecting and measuring specific psychosocial indicators at baseline as a way to reliably define subgroups of low income men for fatherhood program evaluations. The project included a scan of cutting edge approaches to defining subgroups that have been used in other fields, a review of theories of behavior change particularly focused on behaviors targeted by fatherhood programs, a review of relevant psychosocial indicators and measures, and a convening of federal and nonfederal experts. The project identified a number of psychosocial characteristics that may predispose low-income men to benefit from fatherhood programs but found that current fatherhood programming research is not yet at a stage where these characteristics can be adequately tested for their predictive value. Project findings suggest that reliably identifying subgroups of low-income men through the use of psychosocial variables measured at baseline will require further research on the processes and mechanisms by which participants benefit from fatherhood programming. The report includes suggested directions for continued research on this topic. The project was conducted for ASPE by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.