Journal Issue: Home Visiting: Recent Program Evaluations Volume 9 Number 1 Spring/Summer 1999
PAT Effectiveness for Families with Latina Mothers
The Salinas Valley PAT Demonstration included (1) immigrant Latino families that were primarily Spanish-speaking, (2) Latino families whose primary language was English or that were bilingual, and (3) non-Latino families. It was therefore possible to examine the differential effectiveness of PAT among these groups.35
As Table 5 illustrates, families with Latina mothers were different in many respects from those with non-Latina mothers. Latino parents, as a group, were younger, less well educated, less likely to be working, and less likely to be married than non-Latino parents. Latina mothers were less likely to be well informed about parenting and children.
However, Latina-mother families were not homogeneous. For example, primarily Spanish-speaking Latino parents (usually first-generation immigrants) were older and more likely to be married than their English-speaking or bilingual counterparts. They were less well educated, and mothers were less likely to be working and felt less informed regarding children and parenting. To the extent that these differences influenced the parent and child outcomes studied, quite different results would be expected across these groups.Parenting Outcomes by Ethnic and Language Group
Results indicated that the effects of PAT differed across ethnic and language subgroups of Salinas Valley participants. Specifically, as illustrated in Table 6, different patterns of effects were found among Latinas and non-Latinas in the areas of parent knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. In general, it appears that PAT did not produce benefits for non-Latina families but did benefit Latina families.
For example, non-Latina mothers in PAT scored significantly lower on the parent efficacy subscale of the PSOC Scale than their control group counterparts, while Latina mothers had significantly higher scores, particularly those Latina mothers who were primarily English-speaking or bilingual. Non-Latina PAT mothers also scored worse than non-Latina control group mothers on the total HOME parenting behavior scale and several of its subscales, but there were essentially no differences between Latina PAT and control group mothers on the HOME and its subscales.Child Outcomes by Ethnic and Language Group
Table 7 compares child outcomes for each of the ethnic and language subgroups. Results indicated that children of Latina mothers derived greater benefit from the program than did children of non-Latina mothers, for whom program effects often were negative, and that children of Spanish-speaking Latinas benefitted most. For example, a statistically significant positive effect was noted for the cognitive development of children of Latina mothers as measured by the DPII but not for children of non-Latinas. Although these children's cognitive development lagged behind their chronological age (that is, there was a negative months differential DPII score on cognitive development), the lag was 1.4 months smaller for children of Latina mothers in the PAT group than for children of Latina control group mothers. The effect size was somewhat larger for children of Spanish-speaking Latina mothers than for children of English-speaking or bilingual Latinas (0.32 versus 0.23). Children of Spanish-speaking Latinas outscored their control group counterparts on the mental development subscale of the BSID by almost six IQ points, while PAT children of non-Latina mothers actually scored about four points lower than their control group counterparts.
Additional significant program benefits to children of Latina mothers were found on the DPII scales of social and self-help development, with differences between PAT and control group children of 2.5 and 2.3 months, respectively. Again, effects were marginally larger for children of Spanish-speaking Latina mothers. Moderate and significant benefits also were noted for children of Spanish-speaking Latina mothers on the PPVT and on the physical development subscale of the BSID. Thus, several developmental benefits occurred for children of Latina mothers, particularly those who were primarily Spanish-speaking. These benefits had not been apparent in earlier analyses because they had been overshadowed by the poor outcomes experienced by the children of non-Latina mothers.
The poor outcomes for non-Latina mothers and their children may have been related to the markedly higher rate of marital instability among non-Latinas during the demonstration. Whereas 76% of non-Latinas in the PAT group were married at enrollment, 8% experienced divorce or separation during the course of the intervention. This contrasts sharply with the steady increase of up to 14 percentage points in the marriage rate (that is, more mothers were married) in the non-Latina control group and among the English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and bilingual Latina participant and control groups between enrollment and the third assessment. (These data do not appear in any table.)
Multivariate analyses (also not reported in the tables) demonstrated that marital dissolution had a significant negative impact on several outcomes for children, controlling for other factors. For example, for non-Latina mothers, experiencing divorce during the demonstration resulted in seven fewer points on the total score for the HOME Inventory, and 11 fewer points on the PPVT for children.36 Thus, a greater incidence of divorce among non-Latina participants relative to non-Latina control group members may have contributed to poor participant outcomes for that group.