Longitudinal research with adversity-exposed parents and children can present numerous challenges for researchers. Recruitment and retention of participants in longitudinal research is crucial to understanding complex relations between risk and resilience, as well as developing prevention and intervention programs. To assist the field, this article provides a thorough description of the Preschoolers’ Adjustment and Intergenerational Risk (PAIR) project, a study aimed at understanding adversity and resilience in parent-preschooler dyads. The authors describe strategies used to bring community participants into the project, including being present after school at Head Start programs and at community events, word of mouth, social media, and flyering, as well as the success rates of various methods. The authors also discuss working with the state's social service agency to identify participants who have received family preservation services, and the success rates of enrolling these families in the project. Additional strategies are introduced, such as forming a community advisory board. Multiple factors associated with attrition prevention are explored, including data collection procedures for reducing participant burden, and ways the project kept in touch with families to retain them across multiple timepoints. The numerous strategies used by the PAIR project, as well as obstacles encountered, provide a roadmap for future researchers conducting longitudinal work with families at high-risk for adversity exposure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science