Two-Year Outcomes of the Early Risers Prevention Trial With Formerly Homeless Families Residing in Supportive Housing

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Abstract

This article reports 2-year outcomes from a cluster randomized, controlled trial of the Early Risers (ER) program implemented as a selective preventive intervention in supportive housing settings for homeless families. Based on the goals of this comprehensive prevention program, we predicted that intervention participants receiving ER services would show improvement in parenting and child outcomes relative to families in treatment-as-usual sites. The sample included 270 children in 161 families, residing in 15 supportive housing sites; multimethod, multi-informant assessments conducted at baseline and yearly thereafter included parent and teacher report of child adjustment, parent report of parenting self-efficacy, and parent–child observations that yielded scores of effective parenting practices. Data were modeled in HLM7 (4-level model accounting for nesting of children within families and families within housing sites). Two years’ postbaseline, intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses indicated that parents in the ER group showed significantly improved parenting self-efficacy, and parent report indicated significant reductions in ER group children’s depression. No main effects of ITT were shown for observed parenting effectiveness. However, over time, average levels of parenting self-efficacy predicted observed effective parenting practices, and observed effective parenting practices predicted improvements in both teacher- and parent-report of child adjustment. This is the first study to our knowledge to demonstrate prevention effects of a program for homeless families residing in family supportive housing.

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