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Early start : evaluation report. Nine year follow-up David Fergusson, Joseph Boden, John Horwood

By: Fergusson, David M.
Contributor(s): Boden, Joseph M | Horwood, Leonard John.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Social Development, 2012Description: electronic document (68 p.);: PDF file: 916.17 KB.ISBN: 978-0-478-33563-7 (online).Subject(s): CHILD DEVELOPMENT | FAMILIES | INTERVENTION | | PROGRAMMES | SOCIAL SERVICES | NEW ZEALAND | PREVENTION | CHILD ABUSEOnline resources: Click here to access online | Access the website Summary: This report provides an evaluation of the Early Start programme, a home visitation strategy targeting at-risk families. This programme was born out of the concerns identified by the Christchurch Health and Development Study, namely the effect of childhood adversity and disadvantaged family environments on child outcomes. Many service providers were involved in the development of the Early Start programme, such as the Plunket Society, Child, Youth and Family Services, and the Family Help Trust. To evaluate the programme, researchers conducted a random trial involving 220 families involved in Early Start and a control group of 223 families with no connection to the programme. Findings from the nine year follow-up show that up, children of families enrolled in Early Start had: • Lower rates of hospital attendance for non-intentional injury (accidents) (p <.01). These differences were most marked for the 0–3 year period. • Lower rates of parental reported physical child abuse (p <.01). These differences were most marked for the 0–3 year period. • Lower rates of parental reported punitive parenting (p <.05). • Higher rates of parental reported competent parenting (p <.0001). • Fewer parental reported childhood problem behaviours (p <.05). The outcomes were similar for Māori and non-Māori families enrolled in the Early Start programme. There was no evidence to suggest Early Start had benefits for a range of parental and family outcomes that included: maternal depression; parental substance use; family violence; family economic circumstances; family stress and adversity. Statistical analyses showed the differences in rates of sample retention for the Early Start and Control groups were unlikely to threaten study validity. (from the summary) The previous evaluation report can be accessed via the website link.
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This report provides an evaluation of the Early Start programme, a home visitation strategy targeting at-risk families. This programme was born out of the concerns identified by the Christchurch Health and Development Study, namely the effect of childhood adversity and disadvantaged family environments on child outcomes. Many service providers were involved in the development of the Early Start programme, such as the Plunket Society, Child, Youth and Family Services, and the Family Help Trust. To evaluate the programme, researchers conducted a random trial involving 220 families involved in Early Start and a control group of 223 families with no connection to the programme. Findings from the nine year follow-up show that up, children of families enrolled in Early Start had:
• Lower rates of hospital attendance for non-intentional injury (accidents) (p <.01). These differences were most marked for the 0–3 year period.
• Lower rates of parental reported physical child abuse (p <.01). These differences were most marked for the 0–3 year
period.
• Lower rates of parental reported punitive parenting (p <.05).
• Higher rates of parental reported competent parenting (p <.0001).
• Fewer parental reported childhood problem behaviours (p <.05).

The outcomes were similar for Māori and non-Māori families enrolled in the Early Start programme.

There was no evidence to suggest Early Start had benefits for a range of parental and family outcomes that included: maternal
depression; parental substance use; family violence; family economic circumstances; family stress and adversity.
Statistical analyses showed the differences in rates of sample retention for the Early Start and Control groups were unlikely to threaten study validity. (from the summary)
The previous evaluation report can be accessed via the website link.

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