Addressing Barriers to Recruitment and Retention in the Implementation of Parenting Programs: Lessons Learned for Effective Program Delivery in Rural and Urban Areas
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of family-based programs for reducing adolescent risk behaviors and promoting adolescent health; however, parent engagement, specifically in terms of recruitment and retention, remains a consistent challenge. Recruitment rates for family-based prevention programs range from 3 to 35%, while, on average, 28% of caregivers drop out before program completion. Thus, engagement of parents in prevention programming is of utmost concern to ensure families and youth benefit from implementation of family-based programs. In this manuscript, two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded projects share their experiences with engagement of parents in violence prevention programs. Problems related to parent engagement are reviewed, as are structural, attitudinal, and interpersonal barriers specific to recruitment and retention. Examples of successful implementation strategies identified across urban and rural sites are also analyzed and lessons learned are provided.
KeywordsRecruitment Retention Parenting wisely Staying connected with your teen Family check-up
Funding for this research was provided through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Dr. Paul Smokowski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [CE001948] and Dr. Albert D. Farrell, Virginia Commonwealth University [CE001956]). Intergovernmental personnel acts (Dr. Paul Smokowski, University of Kansas [16IPA1605209] and Dr. Rosalie Corona, Virginia Commonwealth University [16IPA1605208]) for the first two authors were utilized to summarize research across projects.
P.S. collaborated on the design and execution of the study conducted in the rural site and collaborated in the writing of the paper. R.C. collaborated on the design and execution of the study conducted in the urban site and collaborated in the writing of the paper. M.B. collaborated on the design and execution of the study conducted in the rural site and collaborated in the writing of the paper. B.L.F. collaborated in the writing of the paper. K.J.M. collaborated in the writing of the paper. A.Y. collaborated on the design and execution of the study conducted in the urban site and collaborated in the writing of the paper.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Approval for the two projects was obtained from the Virginia Commonwealth University (urban sample) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (rural sample). All study procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent, parental permission, and youth assent was obtained from all participants in the studies from which these lessons learned were drawn.
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