Predictors of parental engagement with early intervention were examined in 138 predominantly low-income, African American mothers enrolled in a program designed to promote premature infant development and parent-infant relationships. Predictors included sociodemographics, infant medical risk, and mothers' states of mind regarding attachment. Mothers' engagement with intervention was assessed using interventionists' ratings of parental engagement. Higher socioeconomic risk predicted lower engagement regardless of intervention status. Infant medical risk was not significantly associated with engagement. Autonomous (secure) mothers were more engaged with the intervention than were nonautonomous mothers, but only in the intervention group. When socioeconomic risk and maternal attachment status were examined jointly, only socioeconomic risk significantly predicted engagement. Results underscore the need for intervention programs that proactively identify socioeconomic and personological impediments to parental engagement and that are flexibly designed to maximize parental involvement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health