Title

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect With a Program of Nurse Home Visitation: The Limiting Effects of Domestic Violence

Date

2000

Author(s)

John Eckenrode, Barbara Ganzel, Charles R. Henderson, Elliott Smith, David L. Olds, Jane Powers, Robert Cole, Harriett Kitzman, and Kimberly Sidora

Type of Product

Journal Publication

Model(s)

  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)

Description

Context Home visitation to families with young children has been promoted as an effective way to prevent child maltreatment, but few studies have examined the conditions under which such programs meet this goal. Objective To investigate whether the presence of domestic violence limits the effects of nurse home visitation interventions in reducing substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect. Design Fifteen-year follow-up study of a randomized trial. Setting Semi-rural community in upstate New York. Participants Of 400 socially disadvantaged pregnant women with no previous live births enrolled consecutively between April 1978 and September 1980, 324 mothers and their children participated in the follow-up study. Interventions Families were randomly assigned to receive routine perinatal care (control group; n = 184 participated in follow-up), routine care plus nurse home visits during pregnancy only (n = 100), or routine care plus nurse home visits during pregnancy and through the child’s second birthday (n = 116). Main Outcome Measures Number of substantiated reports over the entire 15-year period involving the study child as subject regardless of the identity of the perpetrator or involving the mother as perpetrator regardless of the identity of the child abstracted from state records and analyzed by treatment group and level of domestic violence in the home as measured by the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results Families receiving home visitation during pregnancy and infancy had significantly fewer child maltreatment reports involving the mother as perpetrator (P= .01) or the study child as subject (P= .04) than families not receiving home visitation. The number of maltreatment reports for mothers who received home visitation during pregnancy only was not different from the control group. For mothers who received visits through the child’s second birthday, the treatment effect decreased as the level of domestic violence increased. Of women who reported 28 or fewer incidents of domestic violence (79% of sample), home-visited mothers had significantly fewer child maltreatment reports during the 15-year period than mothers not receiving the longer-term intervention (P= .01). However, this intervention did not significantly reduce child maltreatment among mothers reporting more than 28 incidents of domestic violence (21% of sample). Conclusions The presence of domestic violence may limit the effectiveness of interventions to reduce incidence of child abuse and neglect. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires

Status

Finished

For More Information

Eckenrode, J., Ganzel, B., Henderson, C. R., Smith, E., Olds, D. L., Powers, J., . . . Sidora, K. (2000). Preventing child abuse and neglect with a program of nurse home visitation: The limiting effects of domestic violence. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 284(11), 1385-1391. doi: 10.1001/jama.284.11.1385
Author Contact Information:
John Eckenrode
jje1@cornell.edu

Topics

  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes