Preparing for Life collection: Evaluation of the Preparing for Life early childhood intervention (PFL), 2008 - 2015

Study number (SN): 0055-00

The data are not currently available. Please email issda@ucd.ie if you would like to be notified when they become available.

Preparing for Life logo

ABOUT THE STUDY

Preparing for Life (PFL) is a community-led prevention and early intervention programme that is operated by the Northside Partnership (NSP) in Dublin, Ireland. PFL aims to improve levels of school readiness of young children from several designated disadvantaged areas of North Dublin, by intervening during pregnancy and working with families until the children start school. The PFL Programme is a home visiting programme whose purpose is to improve documented low levels of school readiness by assisting parents in developing skills to help prepare their children for school. As such, the PFL Programme operates under a holistic definition of school readiness composed of five dimensions including: 1) physical well-being and motor development; 2) social and emotional development; 3) approaches to learning; 4) language development and emergent literacy; and 5) cognitive development and general knowledge.

The PFL programme was evaluated between 2008 and 2015 by the UCD Geary Institute at University College Dublin to provide evidence on the effectiveness of the PFL programme to positively impact on parent and child outcomes. The PFL Programme was evaluated using a mixed methods approach, incorporating (1) an impact evaluation and (2) an implementation evaluation. The impact evaluation was used to determine whether the PFL Programme had an impact on parent and child outcomes for the duration of the intervention, and data was collected on children’s physical health and motor skills, social and emotional development, and behaviour, learning, literacy and language development, and on mother’s pregnancy behaviours, physical and psychological health, cognitive ability, personality, and parenting skills from pregnancy onwards (this data is being archived with ISSDA). A process evaluation was also conducted to investigate perceptions of PFL using qualitative interviews with PFL participants and PFL staff members at 6 months and at 24 months; and with fathers of and father figures to PFL children at 36 months (qualitative material will be available via IQDA).

 

MAIN TOPICS

  • Children
  • Early childhood
  • Education
  • Family environment
  • Health
  • Physiological development
  • Emotional development
  • Evaluation 


COVERAGE, UNIVERSE, METHODOLOGY

Population

The child was the focus of the evaluation however additional information was collected on the mother as primary carer of the child, biological father, partner of mother if relevant and the wider household in which the study child was living. The child’s mother was the primary informant in all waves of data collection. Information was also gathered from other sources at various points, including direct observations of the child by researcher (see BAS file) and from hospital records (full hospital data not included in the archived collection but small amount of data included, such as birthweight).

Pregnant women from the study area were recruited during the pre-natal period (recruitment described below) from range of household types (single, cohabiting, married). The inclusion criteria for the PFL Programme and Evaluation were based on geographical residence and pregnancy status, and included both primiparous and non-primiparous women.

Observation units

  • Individuals
  • Families / Households

Temporal coverage

From 01/2008 to 06/2015

Time dimension

Longitudinal randomised control trial design

Geographical coverage

Country: Rep of Ireland

Region: Leinster

County: Dublin

Town: Dublin

 

Methods of data collection

PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviewing): With interviewer (face to face, telephone or other)

CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interviewing)

Sampling procedures

Recruitment into the PFL Evaluation occurred through (1) the maternity hospital or (2) in the community, and began in late January, 2008 in the five communities in North Dublin. Due to the relatively slow uptake rate within these communities, the PFL catchment area was expanded to include three additional areas in North Dublin in January 2009. A second expansion was initiated in late June 2009 to include two more communities in North Dublin. An in-depth analysis of the demographic similarity showed that the expansion areas were relatively similar to the original PFL catchment area on key socio-demographic characteristics. Of the 233 participants recruited into the PFL Programme, 172 (74%) are from the original catchment area, 39 (17%) are from the first expansion area, and 22 (9%) are from the second expansion area.

Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to identify the degree of similarity between the PFL treatment groups and a community comparison group (LFP group) by calculating the Euclidean pairwise distance between communities. Small area population statistics (SAPS) from 2006 Census were used to rank all 322 communities in Dublin in terms of their closeness to the PFL community based on standard demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The selected comparison community was identified as the most similar socio-demographically to the PFL community and not receiving an early childhood intervention at that time.

The PFL Evaluation is a RCT, or a quantitative comparative assessment of various levels of treatments in which participants are randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups. Randomisation provided each participant with an equal opportunity of receiving either the low or high PFL treatment and therefore, on average, the observed and unobserved characteristics of the participants should be distributed evenly across the two groups before the programme began. PFL participants were randomised after written informed consent was obtained. An unconditional probability randomisation procedure presented each participant with an equal chance of being randomised into the low or high treatment group. After consenting to take part in the PFL Programme and Evaluation, the participant pressed a key on a computer which randomly allocated her treatment group assignment. The computerised randomisation programme created an array equal to the size of the number of people to be in the randomised group. In the case of the PFL Programme this array consisted of 250 possible PFL numbers populated with a one or zero. This array was then shuffled using a random number generator to randomly assign the numbers a location in the array. This process resulted in a list of ones and zeros where the numbers were in a random order and were written to a file one per line. As each participant clicked on the randomisation website they was assigned a one or zero which corresponded to the two treatment groups in the study and their PFL code was inserted beside the one or zero in the file. To ensure randomisation was not compromised, once the participant pressed the key on a computer, an email was generated which included the participant’s unique ID code and assignment condition. This email was automatically sent to the PFL programme manager and the PFL evaluation manager. If there were any attempts to reassign participants from one group to another, by either directly changing the database or repeating the randomisation procedure, a second email would automatically highlight this intentional subversion. Tests of baseline differences between the high and low PFL treatment groups found that the two groups did not statistically differ on 97% of the measures analysed, indicating that the randomisation process was successful. The aggregate PFL group and the LFP comparison group did not statistically differ on 75% of the measures; however, the comparison group was of a relatively higher socioeconomic status. 

 

Response rate

Table 1: PFL sample size per wave

 

Wave

Number of participants at each wave

High treatment group

Low treatment group

LFP group

Total

Cases not included in wave

Recruitment

 

115

118

99

332

-

Baseline (t0)

 

104

101

99

304

28

6 mths (t1)

 

83

90

84

257

75

12 mths (t2)

 

82

83

82

247

85

18 mths (t3)

 

80

74

71

225

107

24 mths (t4)

 

82

84

73

239

93

36 mths (t5)

 

75

76

66

217

115

48 mths (t6)

 

74

73

70

217

115

BAS

 

63

71

0

134

198[1]

 

[1] 99 of these were LFP group

Table 2: Attrition per wave: Number and percentage

Wave

Reason

High treatment group

Low treatment group

LFP group

n

%

n

%

n

%

Baseline (t0)

Dropouts

7

6%

10

8%

0

0%

Missed interview

4

3%

7

6%

0

0%

6 mths (t1)

Dropouts

22

19%

16

14%

9

9%

Missed interview

10

9%

12

10%

6

6%

12 mths (t2)

Dropouts

23

20%

17

14%

9

9%

Missed interview

10

9%

18

15%

8

8%

18 mths (t3)

Dropouts

22

19%

19

16%

9

9%

Missed interview

13

11%

25

21%

19

19%

24 mths (t4)

Dropouts

22

19%

19

16%

10

10%

Missed interview

11

10%

15

13%

16

16%

36 mths (t5)

Dropouts

22

19%

19

16%

12

12%

Missed interview

18

16%

23

19%

21

21%

48 mths (t6)

Dropouts

22

19%

20

17%

12

12%

Missed interview

19

17%

25

21%

17

17%

 

From: PFL Impact Evaluation. Flow Diagram of the Status of Conducted Interviews and Dropouts by Evaluation Group and Data Collection Wave in Doyle, O., & UCD Geary Institute PFL Evaluation Team (2015). Preparing for Life Early Childhood Intervention Assessing the Early Impact of Preparing for Life at Forty-Eight Months, pg. 51.

 

Copyright Statement

Copyright of Northside Partnership

Other acknowledgements

PFL Evaluation Team, Geary Institute, UCD

 

DATA AND DOCUMENTATION: FILES’ DESCRIPTION

 

Data (The data are not currently available. Please email issda@ucd.ie if you would like to be notified when they become available.)

File name

 

File format/s

Contents of file

0055-00_PFL_BL_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from baseline wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_6m_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from 6 month wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_12m_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from 12 month wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_18m_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from 18 month wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_24m_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from 24 month wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_36m_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from 36 month wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_48m_Data

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from 48 month wave of longitudinal RCT.

0055-00_PFL_BAS_Data 

SPSS (.sav)

SPSS file containing fully anonymised and cleaned dataset from the BAS direct assessments of PFL children by research team.

 

Documentation (available for download)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

0055-00_PFL_User_GuideV3

PDF

PDF file containing background information on the PFL programme and evaluation; the research design and fieldwork; and structure of archived dataset. This document is designed to be used as a quick reference guide for users on essential elements of the archived dataset, and it contains copies of the information and consent forms, citations for standardised scales, and lists of associated publications for further details on each wave of the study.

0055-00_PFL_Final_Report

PDF

PDF file of the final report. Gives an overview of entire study.

0055-00_PFL_BL_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for baseline wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_BL_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the baseline wave of PFL.

0055-00_PFL_BL_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the baseline study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_6m_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for 6 month wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_6m_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the 6 month wave of PFL.

0055-00_PFL_6m_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the 6 month study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_12m_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for 12 month wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_12m_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the 12 month wave of PFL.

0055-00_PFL_12m_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the 12 month study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_18m_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for 18 month wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_18m_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the 18 month wave of PFL.

0055-00_PFL_18m_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the 18 month study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_24m_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for 24 month wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_24m_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the 24 month wave of PFL.

0055-00_PFL_24m_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the 24 month study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_36m_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for 36 month wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_36m_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the 36 month wave of PFL .

0055-00_PFL_36m_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the 36 month study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_48m_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies for 48 month wave data. Appendix at the end of this document provides a quick reference index of variables in the baseline data file (variable name and label provided) which are categorised into the major domains of the study.

0055-00_PFL_48m_Report

PDF

PDF file of the report from the 48 month wave of PFL.

0055-00_PFL_48m_Survey

PDF

PDF copy of the survey used in the 48 month study of PFL. The question numbers map on to the data file unless a variable was created during the analysis or during anonymisation. Scale material that cannot be reproduced in the archive due to copyright restrictions is removed from the survey and clearly marked in yellow box – citation for scale is given.

0055-00_PFL_BAS_Codebook

PDF

PDF file containing variable level description and frequencies BAS direct assessments of PFL children.

 

LINKS

Preparing For Life evaluation at the UCD Geary Institute: http://geary.ucd.ie/preparingforlife/

Preparing for Life Early Childhood Intervention Final Report Did Preparing for Life Improve Children’s School Readiness? [pdf]

 

ACCESS INFORMATION

Accessing the data

The data are not currently available. Please email issda@ucd.ie if you would like to be notified when they become available.

Acknowledgements

Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Preparing for Life collection: Evaluation of the Preparing for Life early childhood intervention (PFL), 2008 - 2015" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive - www.ucd.ie/issda”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Northside Partnership; Orla Doyle; UCD Geary Institute PFL Evaluation Team (2017). Preparing for Life collection: Evaluation of the Preparing for Life early childhood intervention, 2008 - 2015. [collection]. Version 1. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive [distributor ] SN: 0055-00. ucd.ie/issda/pfl

Notification

The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.

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