Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published as: Duppong Hurley, K., Lambert, M. C., Patwardhan, I., Ringle, J. L., Thompson, R. W., & Farley, J. (2020). Parental report of outcomes from a randomized trial of in-home family services. Journal of Family Psychology, 34(1), 79–89.


Copyright © 2019 American Psychological Association. Used by permission. "This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal."


This study conducted a randomized trial to examine the efficacy of the Boys Town In-Home Family Services (IHFS) program for families of high-risk youth. Participants were recruited from a state helpline for families struggling with poor family functioning and child emotional or behavioral issues. Consent was obtained for 300 of which 152 were randomly assigned to participate in IHFS for 3–4 months and 148 were assigned to the services as usual comparison group. For the families in the treatment group, 18% did not participant in the intervention, and 66% of families received 20 or more service hours. Parent report data were collected at intake, post, as well 6 and 12 months after post data collection. Data were collected on constructs such as caregiver strain, family functioning, parenting, family resources, and parent report of child behavior. Piecewise analyses of the intake to post data indicated significantly greater reductions in caregiver strain for the treatment condition. Given the conservative corrections for the use of multiple tests, no other measures demonstrated significant differences. For the piecewise model of the maintenance phase, there were no significant differences between groups aside from caregiver strain that showed a significant improvement for the comparison condition. Supplementary dose-response analyses indicated that for most families there was an ideal dosage of about 25–75 hr to bring about the largest improvements in caregiver strain, parenting skills, and child behavior.

Includes supplementary materials.