Date of Defense:
March 23, 2012
Objectives: This evaluation of the Home Visit Program examined four years of life skills assessments from at-risk rural Wisconsin families who received Parents as Teachers home visits.
Methods: For 58 families, the student-researcher calculated mean score changes in the 17 life skills assessed twice annually by the Home Visit Program parent educators.
Results: Reading to children scores demonstrated the greatest improvement, with a mean score change of 1.0 (p <0.0001).Family housing and transportation also showed small but significant improvements. The remaining 14 life skills items showed no significant change or decreased slightly.
Conclusions: With the exception of reading to children, the score change analysis revealed minimal life skills improvements for participants in the Home Visit Program. These findings appear similar to other Parents as Teachers outcomes, although sample size and data quality limit conclusions from this evaluation. Recommendations for the Home Visit Program include improvements to the data collection process, a separate analysis of teen parent results, and ongoing staff development.