The Oregon Parenting Study (TOPS)

    The Regional Research Institute (RRI) at Portland State University (PSU) is conducting an evaluation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Expansion Grant Program. This evaluation project is a partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, Maternal and Child Health Section and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Administration for Families and Children, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE).

    The study will use a quasi-experimental design, with an intervention group (A) and a comparison group (B).  Group A will be recipients of three different evidence-based home visiting programs (Early Head Start, Healthy Families Oregon, and Nurse Family Partnership) and Group B will not be recipients of home visiting. Study participants will represent 13 counties in Oregon.  Home visitors will complete detailed weekly logs documenting specific program activities and discussion topics for the intervention group.  All mothers in both groups will complete surveys at two time points, 12 months apart (study entry and 12 months after study entry).  Intervention group mothers will complete the first survey at the commencement of home visiting services, and the survey 12 months after receiving home visiting services.

    The evaluation will make a number of unique contributions to the home visiting research knowledge base by examining the following:

    • The extent to which parenting knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors increase over time in parents who participate in home visiting services compared to parents who do not.
    • The parent, program, and parenting risk factors that predict parenting knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

    Key characteristics measured will include specific program content, dosage, home visitor-parent relationship, cultural factors and risk factors.  The cultural factors will include the race/ethnicity match between the home visitor and the family, as well as the match between the parents’ home language and that used by service providers.

    Findings from this evaluation may provide guidance in the areas of program service delivery and implementation of home visiting programs and related services.  A final evaluation report will be completed in late 2016. For more information please contact Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara at 503-725-9607 or Katie Winters at 503-735-9643.