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In 2016, the Talbert House (Cincinnati, Ohio), in collaboration with Sarah Whitton, PhD, as the lead researcher, received funding from the FRPN to conduct a randomized control trial of an enhanced coparenting program compared with a standard coparenting program targeting mothers and fathers enrolled in a fatherhood program.
The enhanced coparenting program focused on recruiting, engaging, and retaining mothers by conveying empathy for her situation and potential reservations about participating, addressing maternal issues such as lingering relationship pain, and offering individual and groups services for mothers. Researchers originally aimed to evaluate the enhanced coparenting service; however, they experienced ongoing challenges with recruitment into services. The study aims were therefore redesigned to best make use of the available data and to focus on exploring the reasons why it was so difficult to recruit fathers or mothers into coparenting services.
To accomplish this, researchers (1) examined characteristics of 97 nonresidential fathers participating in a fatherhood program, (2) examined possible predictors of father engagement in coparenting services for these 97 fathers, and (3) identified barriers to engagement in coparenting services for both nonresidential fathers and the mothers of their children based on interviews with 16 mothers and 30 fathers.