Attendance Trajectory Classes Among Divorced and Separated Mothers and Fathers in the New Beginnings Program

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Abstract

We examined attendance trajectories among mothers and fathers in the effectiveness trial of the New Beginnings Program, a parenting-focused prevention program for divorced and separated parents. We also investigated attendance trajectory class differences on two sets of pretest covariates: one set previously linked to participation in programs not specifically targeting divorced parents (i.e., sociodemographics, perceived parenting skills, child problem behaviors, parent psychological distress) and another that might be particularly salient to participation in the context of divorce (i.e., interparental conflict, level of parent-child contact, previous marital status to the ex-spouse). For mothers and fathers, results supported four attendance trajectory classes: (1) non-attenders (NA), (2) early dropouts (ED), (3) declining attenders (DA), and (4) sustained attenders (SA). In the final model testing multiple covariates simultaneously, mothers who were EDs and DAs were more likely to be Latina than SAs, and EDs reported more interparental conflict than SAs. Mother trajectory groups did not differ on parenting skills, child problem behavior, or mother-child contact in the final or preliminary models. In the final model for fathers, EDs rated their children higher on externalizing than DAs, had less contact with their children than DAs and NAs, and reported less distress than SAs. Father trajectory groups did not differ on fathers’ age, ethnicity, income, perceived parenting skills, or interparental conflict in the final or preliminary models. Results highlight qualitatively distinct latent classes of mothers and fathers who disengage from a parenting intervention at various points. We discuss implications for intervention engagement strategies and translational science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPrevention Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 29 2017

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Keywords

  • Attendance trajectories
  • Divorce
  • Latent classes
  • Parenting intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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