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What Do 645 Dads Say About 24/7 Dad® Reducing Risk of Child Abuse and Neglect?

Posted by Christopher A. Brown

What 645 dads say about 24/7 Dad®...

Last week in this blog, I provided an overview of a stunning evaluation conducted by the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the University of Texas at Austin that shows the positive impact National Fatherhood Initiative’s 24/7 Dad® program has on reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.

This week, I provide more detail on what the results showed about the program’s ability to build the five protective factors that research shows reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. (To learn more about each of the protective factors and their definitions, download our free Father Involvement & the Five Protective Factors ebook. You can also find definitions of the factors on page 40 of the evaluation report.)

CFRP used the Protective Factors Survey (PFS) to measure change in 645 dads on building the protective factors. The dads completed the PFS before they started 24/7 Dad® and after they completed the program. Each dad received a score ranging from 0 to 7 on overall change and on each factor. Higher scores reflect more presence of the protective factors overall and of each factor.

As I reported in last week’s blog, the dads experienced highly significant increases in four of the five protective factors: Family Functioning/Resiliency, Social Support, Child Development/Knowledge of Parenting, Nurturing and Attachment. Although the measure of Concrete Support did not reach statistical significance, the dads improved in this factor nonetheless. They also experienced a highly significant increase in the protective factors overall.

Specifically, the overall and factor-specific scores pre- to post-program were:

  • Overall: 5.1 to 5.6 (p<.001)
  • Family Functioning/Resiliency: 4.5 to 5.3 (p<.001)
  • Social Support: 5.0 to 5.5 (p<.001)
  • Concrete Support: 5.2 to 5.4
  • Child Development/Knowledge of Parenting: 5.3 to 5.6 (p<.001)
  • Nurturing and Attachment: 5.7 to 6.0 (p<.001)

In addition:

  • 91 percent of dads experienced improvement in at least one protective factor.
  • 14 percent of dads experienced improvement in all five factors.
  • Dads were most likely to improve in family functioning/resiliency; however, more than 50 percent improved on social support, child development/knowledge of parenting, and nurturing and attachment.
  • All dads regardless of age, marital status, and education level showed significant improvement.
  • Hispanic dads had significantly greater improvement than African-American dads.

Dosage Matters

Last week, I mentioned another measure used by CFRP related to implementing 24/7 Dad® that we’ve often been asked about but that hasn’t been part of an evaluation of the program.

Does the number of sessions dads attend affect its impact/effectiveness?

Now we have the answer…YES! 

CFRP found a highly significant impact of the total number of classes on small changes in PFS scores (p<.001). The greater number of sessions the dads attended, the more improvement they made in building the protective factors.

In next week’s post, I’ll share details on what the evaluation adds to the evidence-base on the program’s ability to build pro-fathering attitudes, knowledge, and self-efficacy in the skills needed to be a 24/7 Dad. I’ll also share what the evaluation showed about the effect of dosage on those outcomes.

How much do you know about the role of the five protective factors in reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect?

Do you know of individual donors interested in reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect with whom you could share these results and that would, as a result, support your organization’s work with 24/7 Dad®?

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Topics: 24/7 Dad, fatherhood research

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