Performance Improvement 2003. Partner and Father Involvement in the Lives of Low-Income First Time Mothers and Their Children: Developmental Course & Impact on Maternal and Child Functioning


This study investigated the role that fathers and partners can play in improving the material, emotional, and developmental well-being of low-income women and children. It consisted of a set of intensive secondary analyses using data from three longitudinal randomized trials (conducted in Elmira, New York; Memphis, Tennessee; and Denver, Colorado) of a program of prenatal and infancy home visitation serving first time mothers from various ethnic and racial groups (African American, Mexican American, Caucasian), most of whom were low-income. The results provide some support for the study’s hypothesis that fathers and partners of visited families would be more positively involved than would their control group counterparts. The most consistent findings across trials were that nurse-visited women reported greater partner and father structural involvement than did control group women, with the strongest patterns of results in Elmira, with greater rates of marriage and more time spent in partnered relationships, and in Memphis, with nurse-visited women more likely to stay partnered with, to cohabit with, and to be married to the biological father.

FEDERAL CONTACT: Girley Wright, 202 401-5070

PIC ID: 6799

PERFORMER: Children’s Hospital, Denver, CO

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