An Assessment of Parent Involvement Strategies in Title X and Title XX Programs Serving Adolescents
Williams, M. S., & Ashley, O. S. (2005, December). An Assessment of Parent Involvement Strategies in Title X and Title XX Programs Serving Adolescents. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
Parent-child communication, parental monitoring, and other aspects of parent involvement have been shown to delay adolescent sexual initiation; decrease rates of adolescent premarital sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and childbearing; and reduce sexual risk behaviors. Parents also provide important support for pregnant or parenting adolescents. This project examined outreach and intervention strategies used by Title X Family Planning and Title XX Adolescent Family Life programs to involve parents and families, with a focus on improving communication between parents and adolescents about sexuality. To assess parent involvement strategies, the study involves a literature review of evidenced-based strategies, a review of program reports from Title X and Title XX providers, and site visits to 15 programs to conduct interviews with key staff. Our literature review identified 25 studies of the effectiveness of parent involvement strategies; of these, 13 were randomized controlled trials. Seven parent involvement strategies were identified: home-based videos, parent-only workshops with a separate adolescent program, joint parent-adolescent attendance at workshops, homework assignments, parent-only training with no adolescent program, grassroots community organizing, and combinations of multiple approaches. The studies found improved outcomes for adolescents and parents. Our review of program reports showed that evidence-based strategies are being implemented or adapted, but generating and maintaining parent interest and involvement is a challenge. It is anticipated that results from site visits will further specify barriers to parent involvement, as well as identify promising practices. Overall, this project will yield important guidance for implementing parent involvement strategies across additional program settings.