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Parent-Child Connectedness: Bridging Research and Intervention Design

For many staff at ETR Associates, this is a special edition of ReCAPP. ETR Associates received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to study the construct of "parent-child connectedness." Specifically, we set out to better understand the factors that create parent-child connectedness, how it works as a protective factor, and what effective interventions designed to strengthen it would look like. The findings from our year's worth of study are presented in this edition of ReCAPP!

This Topic in Brief will:

  • Provide an Overview of ETR's PCC BRIDGE Project;
  • Describe the Major Findings from our study on parent-child connectedness so far;
  • Describe a two-day Think Tank held with parent-child connectedness experts; and
  • Provide a list of key resources on parent-child connectedness including free, PDF versions of three ETR publications.

You will find also find the following documents in this edition of ReCAPP:

Overview of ETR's PCC BRIDGE Project

Emerging research from the fields of public health, psychology, education and others demonstrates that the condition of "parent-child connectedness" (PCC) serves as an important protective factor for a variety of adolescent health outcomes, including the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, STI and HIV.

Program developers at ETR Associates found the prevalence of parent-child connectedness in the research literature to be compelling. Yet after program developers revisited the literature and spoke with several experts in the field, they found little information about the factors that determine PCC, and even less information about how to design interventions to strengthen it.

ETR program development staff saw this gap in the field as an interesting and important opportunity to shed light on this protective factor that appears to have such a strong and widespread impact on adolescent health.

In January 2003, ETR Associates was awarded funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to study the construct of "parent-child connectedness." The objectives of ETR's project titled "Parent-Child Connectedness: Bridging Research and Intervention Design" (PCC BRIDGE) are listed below.

At the completion of Year One, the PCC BRIDGE Project will:

  1. Increase awareness and understanding of how parent-child connectedness serves as a protective factor in adolescent reproductive health;
  2. Increase awareness and understanding of the factors that determine or influence parent-child connectedness; and
  3. Identify characteristics of interventions that have the potential to increase parent-child connectedness.

In support of these objectives, four activities were completed during Year One of this project. These activities include:

  • A comprehensive literature review (a pdf file) that: 1) establishes the protective influence of PCC on a variety of adolescent health outcomes; 2) describes close to 100 possible determinants of PCC; 3) proposes a model that describes how PCC is established; and 4) reviews existing interventions that have had an affect on PCC.
  • A two-day think tank meeting held in July 2003 in Baltimore, MD and attended by researchers and practitioners with expertise in parent-child connectedness.
  • An on-line survey examining how parent-child connectedness is understood by users of the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP) web site.
  • A variety of dissemination activities including this ReCAPP edition dedicated to PCC, presentations at conferences and other meetings, and an on-line forum discussion.

In future years, the PCC BRIDGE Project plans to develop and/or adapt interventions specifically designed to increase PCC, pilot and evaluate these interventions, and lastly disseminate interventions through written products, training and technical assistance.

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