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The Parenting Research Projects

Target Population: The target population for the UCLA project includes women who are Medi-Cal eligible, are English speaking, live within 10 miles of UCLA, and are 18 years of age or older. UCLA will exclude mothers who have more than two children (including the target child), are known substance abusers, or have a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia. Mothers who receive their care from the pre-natal and well-baby UCLA Medi-Cal HMO will be recruited prior to their last trimester of pregnancy (by 28 weeks).

The Intervention: There will be three primary components of the intervention: 1) parenting group sessions, 2) visits to the home, and 3) activities to build a sense of community.

Parenting groups will begin prenatally. UCLA will offer 10-12 weekly 1-hour meetings, approximately half of which will occur before the birth of the baby. Starting when the babies reach 2 months of age, a group leader will lead 3 blocks of 10 weekly, 2-hour meetings, separated by 4-6 week breaks. Topics covered during the group sessions will include family health and safety, communication skills, behavioral regulation skills, emotional development, temperament, attachment and autonomy, how to play with a child, helping children learn, using praise and encouragement, limit setting, and problem solving. These topics will be centered around significant changes in child development or touchpoints. Children will participate in every other group meeting.

A nurse will make two or three visits to the home during the prenatal period and early infancy. Between each block of group sessions, the intervention specialist will conduct two visits to the home to provide an expanded and individualized focus on the topics that were discussed in the previous group sessions.

UCLA will offer opportunities for the mothers and children to join together in holiday and birthday celebrations to provide further opportunities to build a sense of community. One field trip per phase will be planned.

Measurement: Process, cost, and outcome data will be collected by the Project Coordinating Center and the Research Triangle Institute of North Carolina and analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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