Patterns of retention in a preventive intervention with ethnic minority families

J Prim Prev. 2006 Mar;27(2):171-93. doi: 10.1007/s10935-005-0028-2. Epub 2006 Mar 11.


This study examined socio-demographic, child, and family-level correlates of retention patterns among parent participants of Familias Unidas/SEPI (Coatsworth, Pantin, & Szapocznik, 2002), a randomized, controlled trial of a family-focused preventive intervention. The current study's aim was to identify variables that could be used to classify ethnic minority (African American and Hispanic) caregivers (N = 143) into their known patterns of retention across 30 sessions of the intervention. Person-centered analyses identified three broad attendance pattern groups: (a) non-attenders; (b) variable-attenders; (c) consistent-high-attenders. Subgroups of the variable-attender group included: (a) dropouts; (b) variable-low-attenders; (c) variable-high-attenders. Four socio-demographic indicators were significant discriminators of the broad retention patterns. Three family-level factors were significant discriminators of the variable-attender subgroups. Additional significant mean/rate differences among retention pattern groups on correlates are reported. Implications for how retention is examined in preventive interventions and for developing intervention strategies for improving retention rates are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans* / psychology
  • Child
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Family Therapy*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Parenting
  • Parents
  • Patient Dropouts* / statistics & numerical data
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Social Behavior Disorders / prevention & control
  • Southeastern United States
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control