Academic journal article Family Relations

Barriers to Participation in Family Skills Preventive Interventions and Their Evaluations: A Replication and Extension

Academic journal article Family Relations

Barriers to Participation in Family Skills Preventive Interventions and Their Evaluations: A Replication and Extension

Article excerpt


Richard Spoth, Cleve Redmond, Cathy Hockaday, and Chung Yeol Shin**

This study extends a line of programmatic research on families who decline participation in intervention and assessment components of family focused prevention projects. Parents responding to a brief telephone interview (N = 459) identified the most important of 28 barriers concerning project assessments, intervention-related time demands and logistic requirements, beliefs and attitudes about interventions, and family member influences. Results demonstrated that several time-related factors, logistic requirements, and family member influences were important barriers. Findings also showed that sociodemographic factors were associated with unfavorable attitudes about interventions and their assessments. Implications for the development of ef fective recruitment strategies and for future research are presented.

This article addresses several issues raised by the literature on barriers to participation in preventive interventions. The literature indicates the importance of gathering data specific to the type of intervention and the type of consumer population targeted by the intervention because barriers can vary with different interventions and can also vary among consumer groups (Carter, Elward, Malmgren, Martin, & Larson, 1991; Lutz, 1989; Pirie et al., 1986; Spoth & Redmond, 1993a, 1993b, 1994, Vernon, Laville, & Jackson, 1990; Wilson, 1990). In addition, this literature suggests that it is important to gather detailed information on a variety of barriers related to practical concerns (e.g., time demands and logistic requirements), social influences (e.g., family member preferences), and attitudinal factors (e.g., perceived intervention efficacy). Nonetheless, there has been a dearth of research directed toward these barriers to participation in a particular intervention of interest-family skills preventive interventions-offered to a particular consumer population of interest, namely, rural families. Further, there has been limited research on barriers to family preventive interventions that are embedded in an evaluation project. There are additional participation barriers to interventions that are being offered as part of an evaluation study (e.g., anticipated invasions of privacy) and these barriers also warrant further study (Coie et al., 1991; Orden, Dyer, & Lui, 1990; Spoth & Molgaard, 1993).

To address the issues raised in the relevant barriers literature, the study reported in this article gathered detailed information on a comprehensive set of research-based barriers to participation in assessment and intervention components of a family skills preventive intervention evaluation project. It also examined the relationship between these barriers and parent sociodemographic characteristics. A key interest was the barriers data that can be used to guide the development of effective recruitment strategies, such as data concerning scheduling conflicts or time demands, perceived invasions of privacy, perceived susceptibility to child problem behaviors, and spousal influences.

In an earlier retrospective study of participation barriers (Spoth & Redmond, 1993b), data were collected from nonparticipants during a recruitment telephone interview and via a subsequent mail survey. Data were obtained from parents representing 167 families who refused to participate in a family-focused prevention program evaluation study. Parents from refusing families responded to an open-ended interviewer question about their family's decision not to participate in the study. Ninetyseven (59%) of these parents also responded to a brief mail survey concerning 10 reasons for refusal, using a yes/no response format.

The present study incorporated a number of substantive and methodological improvements over the previous study. …

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