Accelerating Recovery from Poverty: Prevention Effects for Recently Separated Mothers

J Early Intensive Behav Interv. 2007 Jan 15;4(4):681-702. doi: 10.1037/h0100400.


This study evaluated benefits of a preventive intervention to the living standards of recently separated mothers. In the Oregon Divorce Study's randomized experimental design, data were collected 5 times over 30 months and evaluated with Hierarchical Linear Growth Models. Relative to their no-intervention control counterparts, experimental mothers had greater improvements in gross annual income, discretionary annual income, poverty threshold, income-to-needs ratios, and financial stress. Comparisons showed the intervention to produce a greater increase in income-to-needs and a greater rise-above-poverty threshold. Benefits to income-to-needs were statistically independent of maternal depressed mood, divorce status, child support, and repartnering. Financial stress reductions were explained by the intervention effect on income-to-needs. The importance of helping disadvantaged families with evidence-based programs is discussed.