Braiding Two Evidence-Based Programs for Families At-Risk: Results of a Cluster Randomized Trial

Kate Guastaferro, Betty S. Lai, Katy Miller, Jenelle Shanley Chatham, Daniel J. Whitaker, Shannon Self-Brown, Allison Kemner, John R. Lutzker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Child maltreatment is a significant public health problem best addressed through evidence-based parent-support programs. There is a wide range of programs with different strengths offering a variety of options for families. Choosing one single evidence-based program often limits the range of services available to meet the unique needs of families. This paper presents findings from a study to examine the systematic braiding of two evidence-based programs, Parents as Teachers and SafeCare at Home (PATSCH), with the goal to provide a more robust intervention for higher risk families. A cluster randomized effectiveness trial was conducted to examine if PATSCH improved parenting behaviors known to decrease the risk for child maltreatment compared to Parents as Teachers (PAT) Alone. Parents (N = 159; 92 PAT Alone; 67 PATSCH) were enrolled to complete a baseline, 6-month and 12-month assessment. Results indicate the groups did not differ on number of environmental hazards in the home, parents’ health care decision-making abilities, child abuse potential, and physical assault over time. However, with regard to the potential for child abuse, the PATSCH group showed a decrease in nonviolence discipline and increase in psychological aggression compared to the PAT group. Further research is needed to better examine this concept and its implications for the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-546
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Child maltreatment
  • Evidence-based programs
  • Intervention
  • Parenting
  • Systematic braiding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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