Supporting Recruitment and Retention of Young African-American and Hispanic Fathers in Community-Based Parenting Interventions Research

Keywords: Fathers, community-based research, recruitment, parenting


Few studies to date have provided strategies for maintaining low rates of attrition when conducting longitudinal, epidemiological, or community-based research with young, minority, urban fathers. This paper highlights lessons learned from a 5-year randomized controlled trial of a fatherhood intervention that designed and implemented state-of-the-art and culturally relevant recruitment and retention methods with 348 young fathers ages 15 to 25. Qualitative findings are drawn from interviews with fathers who had been enrolled in the fatherhood intervention (n=10). While traditional recruitment and retention methods, such as incentives, were employed in this study, non-traditional methods were used as well, such as intensive community outreach, staff relationship development, recruiting specialists, and flexible contact methods. These methods were found to be helpful to young fathers in the study. Future research should incorporate, and further study, such non-traditional methods for recruiting young, minority, urban fathers into studies of parenting programs, including randomized control trials, to improve services for this underserved population.


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