A Research Program Testing the Effectiveness of a Preventive Intervention for Couples with a Newborn

Richard E. Heyman, Katherine J.W. Baucom, Amy M.Smith Slep, Danielle M. Mitnick, Michael F. Lorber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Noxious family environments are associated with a wide range of adverse child outcomes. In order to prevent couple and parent–child relationship problems, a number of programs have been developed for couples with newborns. The current paper describes a program of research evaluating the American version of couple CARE for parents of newborns. This version of CCP was administered to low-income, unmarried couples with a new baby in an uncontrolled demonstration project (Study 1), compared with a waitlist control condition in a randomized controlled trial (Study 2), and evaluated with low-income parents recruited from urban hospitals in two major metropolitan areas of the United States (Study 3 and Study 4). Despite participant satisfaction with CCP, preventive effects of the program were limited and there was one potential iatrogenic effect. Results were likely impacted by major challenges with recruiting participants and maintaining their engagement in CCP for the duration of the program. We discuss methodological differences between this series of studies and previous trials of prevention programs and make recommendations for improving service delivery to at-risk new parents. These results have implications for public policies that aim to benefit children and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-684
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Couple Relationship
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Prevention
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Socioeconomic Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'A Research Program Testing the Effectiveness of a Preventive Intervention for Couples with a Newborn'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this