Advertisement

Prevention Science

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 269–274 | Cite as

Reducing the Impact of Uncontrollable Stressful Life Events Through a Program of Nurse Home Visitation for New Parents

  • Charles V. Izzo
  • John Eckenrode
  • Elliot G. Smith
  • Charles R. HendersonJr.
  • Robert Cole
  • Harriet Kitzman
  • David L. Olds
Original Article

The current study examined whether the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), an intervention in which mothers received home visitation by registered nurses pre- and postnatally, reduced mothers' vulnerability to the effects of stressful life events several years after the program was completed. Data from a randomized trial of the NFP were examined for mothers (N = 324) who were generally low-income, young, and unmarried at the time of the birth of their first child. Structured interviews were done with mothers about 15 years after the program began. Results showed that experiencing uncontrollable stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, led to fewer negative outcomes (fewer mental health problems, less binge drinking, and better parenting practices) among nurse-visited mothers than among mothers receiving no visitation. Furthermore, the program's effect on reducing vulnerability to the negative impact of life events was particularly evident among parents who were younger or had a lower sense of personal control at intake. These findings suggest that, in addition to preventing the occurrence of negative outcomes that were direct targets of the intervention, the NFP more generally enhanced mothers' ability to cope with future stressful life events.

KEY WORDS:

nurse-visiting life events mental health parenting 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This research was supported by grants from the Prevention Research Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (Dr. Olds: R01-MH49381), the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services (Dr. Olds: 96ASPE278A), the Children's Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services (Dr. Eckenrode: 90-CA-1631) and a Senior Research Scientist Award (Dr. Olds: 1-K05-MH01382-01).

REFERENCES

  1. Hollingshead, A. (1976). Four factor index of social status. (Manuscript) New Haven: Yale University Social Sciences Library.Google Scholar
  2. Karoly, L. A., Greenwood, P. W., Everingham, S. S., Joube, J., Kilburn, M. R., Rydell, C. P., Sanders, M., & Chiesa, J. (1998). Investing in our children: What we know and dont know about the costs and benefits of early childhood interventions. Washington, DC: Rand.Google Scholar
  3. Kessler, R. C. (1990). National Comorbidity Survey. [Online]. Available: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA/ncs.html
  4. Kitzman, H., Olds, D. L., Henderson, C. R., Hanks, C., Cole, R., et al. (1997). Effect of prenatal and infancy home visitation by nurses on pregnancy outcomes, childhood injuries, and repeated childbearing: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278(8), 644–652.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Olds, D. L., Eckenrode, J. J., Henderson, C. R., Jr., Kitzman, H., Powers, J., Cole, R., Sidora, K., Morris, P., Pettitt, L., & Luckey, D. (1997). Long-term effects of home visitation on maternal life course and child abuse and neglect: 15-year follow-up of a randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 637–643.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Olds, D. L., Henderson, C. R., Jr., Chamberlin, R., & Tatelbaum, R. (1986). Preventing child abuse and neglect: A randomized trial of nurse home visitation. Pediatrics, 78, 65–78.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Olds, D. L., Henderson, C. R., Jr., Cole, R., Eckenrode, J., Kitzman, H., Luckey, D., Pettitt, L., Sidora, K., Morris, P., & Powers, J. (1998). Long-term effects of nurse home visitation on children's criminal and antisocial behavior: 15-year follow-up of a randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280, 1238–1244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Olds, D., Robinson, J., O'Brien, R., Luckey, D., Pettitt, L., Henderson, C., et al. (2002). Home visiting by paraprofessionals and by nurses: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 110(3), 486–496.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Olds, D. L., Tatelbaum, R., Henderson, C. R., Robinson, J., Kitzman, H., Pettit, L. M., Eckenrode, J. J., O'Brien, R., Cole, R., & Hill, P. (1998b). Prenatal and infancy home visitation by nurses: A program of research. In C. Roves-Collier, L. P. Lewis, & H. Hayne (Eds.), Advances in infancy research (Vol. 12, pp. 79–130). Stanford, CT: Ablex Publishing.Google Scholar
  10. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal vs. external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80.Google Scholar
  11. Schaefer, E. S. (1965). Children's reports of parental behavior. Child Development, 36, 413–424.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Stewart, A. L., Sherborne, J. T., Kays, R. D., Well, K. B., Nelson, E. C., Kamberg, C., Rogers, W. H., Berry, S. H., & Ware, J. E. (1992). Summary and discussion of MOS measures. In A. L. Stewart & J. E. Ware (Eds.), Measuring functioning and well-being: The medical outcomes study approach (pp. 245–371). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Rotter, J. B. (2002). Interim Report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Prevention Research 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles V. Izzo
    • 1
    • 5
  • John Eckenrode
    • 1
  • Elliot G. Smith
    • 1
  • Charles R. HendersonJr.
    • 2
  • Robert Cole
    • 3
  • Harriet Kitzman
    • 3
  • David L. Olds
    • 4
  1. 1.Family Life Development CenterCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human DevelopmentCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.School of NursingUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Prevention Research Center for Family and Child HealthUniversity of Colorado Health Science CenterDenverUSA
  5. 5.Family Life Development CenterCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations