Patterns of retention in a preventive intervention with ethnic minority families

J. Douglas Coatsworth, Larissa G. Duncan, Hilda Pantin, José Szapocznik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


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. Editors' Strategic Implications: The authors address factors related to clients' engagement and retention from multiple ecological levels. Lessons from this low income, low education, minority sample may prove useful to program developers who want to build in supports and incentives prior to program implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-193
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Attendance
  • Family
  • Minority
  • Prevention
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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