Understanding maternal intentions to engage in home visiting programs

Karen McCurdy, Deborah Daro, Elizabeth Anisfeld, Aphra Katzev, Ann Keim, Craig LeCroy, Courtney McAfee, Carnot Nelson, Lydia Falconnier, William M. McGuigan, Jennifer K. Park, James Sandy, Carolyn Winje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Little is known as to why some parents choose to engage in voluntary home visitation services while others refuse or avoid services. To address this knowledge gap, this study tests several hypotheses about the factors that influence maternal intentions to engage in home visitation services and the link between these intentions and the receipt of a home visit. The sample consists of an ethnically diverse group of mothers identified as at-risk for parenting difficulties (N = 343). These mothers were offered home visitation services from nine home visiting programs located across six states. Regardless of service acceptance or refusal, all mothers were interviewed within 2 weeks of the service offer and 3 months later. The findings suggest that mothers who intend to use services look substantially different from those who do not state an intention to participate in home visitation. The results indicate that lower infant birth weight and greater comfort with a provider in one's home are significant predictors of maternal intentions to utilize home visiting services. The study results also support the connection between intent and behavior as the expressed intention to engage in home visitation services was a key predictor of the receipt of a visit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1212
Number of pages18
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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