The role of community in facilitating service utilization

Deborah Daro, Karen McCurdy, Lydia Falconnier, Carolyn Winje, Elizabeth Anisfeld, Aphra Katzev, Ann Keim, Craig LeCroy, William McGuigan, Carnot Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Guided by an integrated theory of parent participation, this study examines the role community characteristics play in influencing a parent's decision to use voluntary child abuse prevention programs. Multiple regression techniques were used to determine if different community characteristics, such as neighborhood distress and the community's ratio of caregivers to those in need of care, predict service utilization levels in a widely available home visiting program. Our findings suggest that certain community characteristics are significant predictors of the extent to which families utilize voluntary family supports over and above the proportion of variance explained by personal characteristics and program experiences. Contrary to our initial assumptions, however, new parents living in the most disorganized communities received more home visits than program participants living in more organized communities. The article concludes with recommendations on how community capacity building might be used to improve participant retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-204
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 23 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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