An early evaluation of Connections delivered in the context of Mothercraft’s Breaking the Cycle program confirmed positive outcomes for the mother, the child, and the mother-child relationship. Findings from quantitative data included increased maternal confidence to resist substance use, decreased reports of maternal anxiety and depression symptomatology, enhanced maternal relationship capacity, increased social support, more appropriate expectations in the parenting role, increased empathy, decreased parenting stress, and child development within the average range as measured on standardized assessment. Qualitative data confirmed that, as a result of Connections, mothers: a) enhanced their capacity to reflect on their past experiences in order to make changes in their current relationships, b) gained an understanding of the cycle of unhealthy relationships, c) increased their understanding of the impact of unhealthy relationships on their children and on their parenting (Motz, et al., 2009).
Connections was evaluated more recently with a national sample of 400 participants through the Building Connections project. Preliminary evaluation findings confirmed the fidelity of the replication of the intervention in communities across Canada. Certified facilitators identified changes in four key areas related to trauma-informed practice: awareness (e.g. attitudes toward interpersonal violence), competency (e.g. application of trauma-informed knowledge), collaboration (e.g. working with other organizations to provide service to children and families), and safety (e.g. organizational policies to ensure safe, welcoming spaces (Singh et al., 2020). Preliminary evaluation of outcomes for mothers in this sample confirmed significant increases in maternal self-esteem, self-efficacy, ability to feel closeness in relationships, ability to depend on others in relationship, knowledge of community services, and understanding of Connections concepts. Significant decreases were found on measures of anxiety in relationships and parenting stress (Andrews, et al., 2020a).
Publication of Evaluation Results:
Andrews, N., Motz, M., Zuberi, S., Singh, C., Leslie, M., & Pepler, D.J. (2021). Building Connections to Support Mothers and Young Children Affected by Interpersonal Violence: The Evaluation Report. Toronto: Mothercraft Press.
Andrews, N., Reynolds, W., Leslie, M., Motz, M., Zuberi, S., Singh, C., & Pepler, D. J. (2021). Building Connections for Healthy Relationships: What We Learned. Toronto: Mothercraft Press.
Andrews, N. C. Z., Motz, M., & Pepler, D. J. (2020a). A national implementation of a community based intervention for mothers experiencing violence in relationships. Journal of Family Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000810
Andrews, N. C., Motz, M., & Pepler, D. J. (2020b). Developing and testing a readiness tool for interpersonal violence prevention partnerships with community‐based projects. Journal of Community Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22361
Singh, C. D., Andrews, N. C. Z., Motz, M., Pepler, D. J., Leslie, M., & Zuberi, S. (2020). Trauma-informed and relational approaches to service provision: Building community-based project capacity to respond to interpersonal violence through a national initiative. BMC Public Health, 20 (1833), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09960-3
Andrews, N. C. Z., Pepler, D. J., & Motz, M. (2019). Research and evaluation with community-based projects: Approaches, considerations, and strategies. American Journal of Evaluation, Vol 40(4), 548-561. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214019835821
Zuberi, S., Motz, M., Leslie, M., & Pepler, D.J. (2018, November). Building Connections: Supporting the readiness and capacity of community-based projects to deliver a trauma-informed intervention. Zero to Three, 39(2), 21-25.
Leslie, M., Reynolds, W., Motz, M., Pepler, D.J. (2016). Building Connections: Supporting Community-Based Programs to Address Interpersonal Violence and Child Maltreatment. Toronto: Mothercraft Press. (Available in English and French)
Leslie, M. (ed.). 2007. Substance use, violence and mothering: BTC’s Connections Project. In The Breaking the Cycle Compendium Vol. 1: The Roots of Relationship (pp 101-112).Toronto: Mothercraft Press.
Motz, M., Espinet, S.D., Racine, N.M., & Pepler, D.J. (May 2009). Evaluating Connections: Assessing the links that mothers make between domestic violence, substance use, parenting and child development. Prepared for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Toronto: Mothercraft Press.
Motz, M., Reynolds, W., Leslie, M. (2020) The Breaking the Cycle Compendium Volume 2 – Healing Through Relationships. Toronto: Mothercraft Press
Rated/Reviewed by Evidence Based Registries:
This intervention was not rated by the registries/databases we reviewed.