A Population-Level, Randomized Effectiveness Trial of Recruitment Strategies for Parenting Programs in Elementary Schools

Michelle Abraczinskas, Emily B. Winslow, Krista Oswalt, Kelly Proulx, Jenn Yun Tein, Sharlene Wolchik, Irwin Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: A population-level, randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effectiveness of a parent recruitment package for increasing initial engagement into a school-based parenting program and to identify strategies responsible for effects. Method: Participants were caregivers of kindergarten- to third-grade students (N = 1,276) attending one of five schools serving ethnically diverse families living in mostly low-income, urban conditions. First, families were randomly assigned to be recruited for research surveys or not, and then to a parenting program recruitment condition: 1) Engagement-as-usual (EAU) informational flyer; 2) EAU + testimonial booklet; 3) EAU + teacher endorsement; 4) EAU + recruitment call; or 5) all strategies (full package). Caregivers were offered a free parenting program at their child’s school. Primary dependent variables were parenting program enrollment and attending at least one session (initiation). Exploratory analyses were conducted on program completion, attendance across sessions, homework completion, and in-session participation. Results: In the population-level sample, enrollment and initiation were higher for the full package compared to all other conditions except the recruitment call condition. Enrollment, initiation, and program completion were higher for the recruitment call and full package conditions compared to the EAU condition. In the subsample of initiators, parents in the full package condition attended fewer parenting sessions than in the EAU condition. Controlling for attendance across sessions, there were no condition effects on homework completion or in-session participation. Conclusions: The recruitment call can increase the public health impact of evidence-based parenting programs by improving enrollment, initiation, and program completion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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