Calling all moms

Calling all moms

Being a mom is hard under the best circumstances and if you are young, unmarried, and/or lack resources, the demands of parenting can be overwhelming. These moms are often the ones most in need of parent training and support, and the ones most likely to drop out of such services, according to Judy Carta, special education professor and LSI senior scientist.

Now, the cell phone is looking like an answer to this longstanding challenge.

Mothers in a study combining an in-home parenting intervention with access to cell phone support—including text reminders and suggestions— stayed in a parenting program twice as long as a group of mothers without this component.

The study, directed by Carta and Kathryn Bigelow at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, is part of a larger effort to prevent child neglect with the University of Notre Dame that has major funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Doris Duke Foundation.

More encouraging results— the parenting training reinforced by cell phone contact is sticking six months later—resulting in both improved parenting and child behavior.

The cell phone may be key to getting much needed services to younger, more transient individuals in a cost-effective way, says Carta. “But the real bottom line is preventing child maltreatment— and that is both a long term benefit and cost-saving measure for society.” 

LSI Project