Duke University and researchers from the Durham Family Initiative collaborated on an exciting project designed to better understand the strengths and needs of families with young children living in Durham County, North Carolina. The primary goal of the Prospective Study of Infant Development was to find out how family characteristics and the community services that families receive predict child health and development, parent well-being, and parenting behaviors. With this knowledge, we hoped to develop better ways to match families, both in Durham County and in other communities, with resources that will benefit them.
In order to examine the ways in which family characteristics and community services are associated with family well-being, the Prospective Study of Infant Development enrolled 549 families with a 6-month-old infant in Durham County. Families were recruited over the course of a year and a half, from January 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011, and were invited to participate in a 1-2 hour interview in their home with trained research assistants. Interviews focused on multiple aspects of family life, including parents’ opinions about parenting, child health and medical care, access and receipt of family services, and mothers’ well-being. Families were compensated for their participation in the interview.
Following the 6-month interview, participant families were invited to participate in a variety of follow-ups, including an 18-month, 24-month, and, most currently, a 30-month and 42-month survey. Thanks to funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), we are excited to continue the project until participant children are approximately 5 years old.