Propensity score matching reduced selection bias in a comparison between families who received services from the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program and families from a similar background who did not have access to HIPPY. HIPPY is a home visiting program aimed at preparing children for school who are at risk for school failure. A final sample, created by propensity score analysis, consisted of mostly Latino mothers (n = 242) of 3–4-year-old children from an inner-city community. The purpose of the study was to determine relationships between participation in HIPPY and mothers’ cognitive and socioemotional parenting skills, as well as parenting self-efficacy. Mothers filled out several self-report measures during school meetings. Regressions and mediation tests looked at program effects, using a quasi-experimental design. Home visiting participation predicted higher parenting self-efficacy and more school readiness activities in the home. As an indirect benefit, parents who participated in HIPPY learning activities with their child reported closer parent–child relationships than non-participants. Parenting self-efficacy mediated the relationship between HIPPY participation and school readiness activities in the home, supporting a theoretical model of change that shows that changing beliefs about parenting through a home visiting intervention results in change in parenting behavior. HIPPY home visiting appears to be successful in improving parenting self-efficacy, parent–child closeness, and parent engagement in education in a mostly Latino, inner-city population. Future work should look at actual prevention of outcomes such as foster care or family violence through home visiting. Additionally, propensity score analysis can be used in future studies when families cannot be assigned to conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science