Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Home visiting services seek to promote maternal and child health through education, agency referrals, and interpersonal connection. These evidence-informed services are often voluntary, which poses significant challenges in terms of enrolling, engaging, and retaining clients. According to McCurdy and Daro (2001), attributes such as: client characteristics, health professional attributes, features of the agency, and the neighborhood acceptance of the program may influence a client's decision to enroll. Furthermore, the timing of engagement or contact affects the engagement of home visitors with clients. In addition, sociodemographic factors of: ethnicity, ages of parents and children involved, and educational attainment influence a client's intent to enroll in a given program (Spoth & Redmond, 2000).

While engagement levels are often evaluated based on the client's demographic and sociodemographic factors, research also suggests that social norms play a significant role in a client's decision-making process. Despite this finding, the role of social norms as an influence on enrollment, engagement and retention has not been thoroughly evaluated.

This phenomenological qualitative study evaluates the experiences of five new and expecting mothers in Missoula County to better understand the role of social norms as they relate to enrollment, engagement, and retention in home visiting services. A quasi-snowball sampling method guided this research and in-depth interviews were conducted with each participant. Consistently, participants noted high levels of stigma associated with the receipt of home visiting services, yet they voiced support and recognition of the benefits of these programs. Elaboration of key themes and implications for practice and research will be discussed in the presentation.

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Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 9:00 AM Apr 15th, 9:20 AM

Social norms: Understanding community perceptions of voluntary services and its effect on parental engagement

Home visiting services seek to promote maternal and child health through education, agency referrals, and interpersonal connection. These evidence-informed services are often voluntary, which poses significant challenges in terms of enrolling, engaging, and retaining clients. According to McCurdy and Daro (2001), attributes such as: client characteristics, health professional attributes, features of the agency, and the neighborhood acceptance of the program may influence a client's decision to enroll. Furthermore, the timing of engagement or contact affects the engagement of home visitors with clients. In addition, sociodemographic factors of: ethnicity, ages of parents and children involved, and educational attainment influence a client's intent to enroll in a given program (Spoth & Redmond, 2000).

While engagement levels are often evaluated based on the client's demographic and sociodemographic factors, research also suggests that social norms play a significant role in a client's decision-making process. Despite this finding, the role of social norms as an influence on enrollment, engagement and retention has not been thoroughly evaluated.

This phenomenological qualitative study evaluates the experiences of five new and expecting mothers in Missoula County to better understand the role of social norms as they relate to enrollment, engagement, and retention in home visiting services. A quasi-snowball sampling method guided this research and in-depth interviews were conducted with each participant. Consistently, participants noted high levels of stigma associated with the receipt of home visiting services, yet they voiced support and recognition of the benefits of these programs. Elaboration of key themes and implications for practice and research will be discussed in the presentation.