Impact of a Kentucky Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home-Visitation Program on Parental Risk Factors




Jonnisa M. Ferguson and Robin C. Vanderpool

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Other Models


As public health organizations continue to implement maternal and child health home-visitation programs, more evaluation of these efforts is needed, particularly as it relates to improving parental behaviors. The purpose of our study was to assess the impact of families’ participation in a home-visitation program offered by a central Kentucky health department on parental risk factors. A family social worker or nurse interviewed parents pre-intervention, completing a Parent Survey which assessed multiple parental risk factors associated with negative health and well-being and to calculate a total risk score. Upon exiting the program, parents are re-interviewed to document improvements, review progress and accomplished goals, plan for transitional services, and calculate a new risk score. As of December 2010, 64 families had completed the home-visitation program and had pre- and post-risk scores available for analysis. Based on paired-sample t tests, there was a statistically significant difference in total mean risk scores among both mothers and fathers from pre to post. The McNemar–Bowker test also revealed statistically different scores for four of the six risk factors for mothers and fathers pre- and post-home-visitation: lifestyle behaviors and mental health, coping skills and support systems, stresses, and anger management skills. Findings suggest that families who were deemed at-risk for adverse pregnancy and child health outcomes benefit from participation in the home-visitation program. Programs designed to promote positive pregnancy outcomes and child development may benefit from providing social support, fostering parental knowledge, skill development and problem solving, insuring proper medical care, and connecting parents with community resources. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Standardized assessment tools



For More Information

Ferguson, J. M., & Vanderpool, R. C. (2013). Impact of a Kentucky maternal, infant, and early childhood home-visitation program on parental risk factors. Journal of Child and Family Studies22(4), 551-558. doi: 10.1007/s10826-012-9610-4
Author Contact Information:
Robin C. Vanderpool


  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes