Building Bridges and Bonds: Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Justice Involved Individuals Seeking Employment
Last registered on May 13, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Building Bridges and Bonds: Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Justice Involved Individuals Seeking Employment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004093
Initial registration date
May 07, 2019
Last updated
May 13, 2019 11:45 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
MDRC
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
UCSF/MDRC
PI Affiliation
MDRC
PI Affiliation
MDRC
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-09-25
End date
2021-04-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Building Bridges and Bonds study is an evaluation of new program approaches to support low-income fathers in working toward economic stability and improved relationships with their children. The study includes tests of the impacts of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Justice Involved Individuals Seeking Employment (CBI-Emp) intervention. CBI-Emp was tested in three fatherhood program settings: Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action, Inc. (KISRA), in Dunbar and Beckley, West Virginia; Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Passages Connecting Fathers and Families, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio; and The Fortune Society in New York, New York.

The CBI-Emp intervention is designed to improve economic stability by encouraging positive thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors among individuals recently involved with the criminal justice system. The CBI-Emp approach addresses challenges associated with deficits in executive functioning by building skills in impulse control, problem solving, organization, and time management.

The impacts of the CBI-Emp intervention will be evaluated using an experimental research design. The impact study will address questions about whether the new CBI-Emp approach affected key outcomes of interest, including increased employment.
Registration Citation
Citation
Harknett, Kristen et al. 2019. "Building Bridges and Bonds: Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Justice Involved Individuals Seeking Employment ." AEA RCT Registry. May 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4093/history/46451
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
CBI-Emp is grounded in a cognitive behavioral job-readiness curriculum, which is delivered in a series of group and individual sessions. The curriculum covers five broad topics: motivational engagement, cognitive restructuring, managing feelings and actions in the workplace, problem solving, and success planning. All fathers in the CBI-Emp program group are offered 20 sessions from the CBI-Emp curriculum. Activities such as role playing and collaborative problem solving give fathers an opportunity to practice and reinforce the skills they are learning.
Intervention Start Date
2016-10-24
Intervention End Date
2019-03-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Earnings from formal jobs in the year after random assignment.

2. Number of quarters with any formal employment in the year after random assignment.

3. Number of weeks employed in the six months since random assignment.

4. Ever arrested in the year after random assignment.

5. Ever spent time in prison or jail in the six months after random assignment.

6. Co-parenting conflict scale.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1. Earnings from formal jobs in the year after random assignment.
- This measure is created from data from the National Directory of New Hires. The quarter in which random assignment occurred will be considered Q0, and earnings from formal jobs in Q1 to Q4 will be considered for this measure.

2. Number of quarters with any formal employment in the year after random assignment.
- This measure is created from data from the National Directory of New Hires. The quarter in which random assignment occurred will be considered Q0, and formal jobs from Q1 to Q4 will be considered for this measure.
- This measure will range from 0 to 4.

Number of weeks employed in the six months since random assignment.
- This measure is created from the six month follow-up survey. Respondents are asked to provide the start and end dates of up to six jobs they held since random assignment. The number of non-overlapping days (i.e., unique) in which the respondent worked at these various jobs will be summed and then divided by 7 to convert to weeks.
- Only jobs that the respondent indicates are compensated for by cash, check, or direct deposit will be considered for this measure. Jobs compensated in other ways (e.g., non-monetary) will not be considered.

4. Ever arrested in the year after random assignment.
- This measure is created from administrative criminal justice data received from states. Respondents with at least one arrest date occurring in the year after random assignment are considered arrested in the year after random assignment.

5. Ever spent time in prison or jail since random assignment.
- This measure is created from the six month follow-up survey. Respondents are asked, "At any point since [random assignment date], have you spent time in prison or jail? Don’t include time spent in halfway houses or work release centers."
- Respondents who are responding to the survey from prison are not asked this question, but are considered as if they answered "yes" to it.

6. Co-parenting conflict scale.
- This measure is created from the six month follow-up survey. Respondents are asked to respond the extent to which they agree (on a scale of (1) strongly agree, (2) agree, (3) disagree, and (4) strongly disagree) with statements about conflict with the co-parent. The statements that are used for this scale are:
(1) "[NAME OF MOTHER/GUARDIAN] and I have conflicts about scheduling time or activities with [NAME OF CHILD]."
(2) "[NAME OF MOTHER/GUARDIAN] and I argue about who should make decisions about [NAME OF CHILD]. "
(3) "[NAME OF MOTHER/GUARDIAN] and I try to manage the amount of conflict we have about [NAME OF CHILD]."
(4) "[NAME OF MOTHER/GUARDIAN] and I make threats to each other when we can't get along in our roles as parents."
(5) "[NAME OF MOTHER/GUARDIAN] and I are able to resolve conflicts or arguments over [NAME OF CHILD]."
- Responses to question (1), (2), and (4) are reverse-coded before contributing to the average. Respondents who did not answer more than one component item will be missing on the final outcome.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Ever employed in quarter 1 after random assignment.

2. Ever employed in quarter 2 after random assignment.

3. Ever employed in quarter 3 after random assignment.

4. Ever employed in quarter 4 after random assignment.

5. Length of longest job held in the six months since random assignment.

6. Earnings in the past week.

7. Employment-related behavior problems.

8. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: transportation.

9. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: criminal record.

10. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: right skills or education.

11. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: substance use problems.

12. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: mental health problems.

13. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: disability or health problems.

14. Ever arrested in the six months since random assignment (survey).

15. Ever violated parole in the six months since random assignment.

16. Ever had parole revoked in the six months since random assignment.

17. Parenting alliance: "Mother/guardian tells me I am doing a good job or otherwise lets me know I am being a good father."

18. Parenting alliance: "Mother/guardian and I are a good parenting team."

19. Maternal gatekeeping scale.

20. Undermining scale.

21. Father-child in-person contact.

22. Frequency of father cancelling his plans with his child.

23. Father-child relationship quality scale.

24. Father-child relationship quality scale (positive items).

25. Father-child relationship quality scale (negative items).

26. Father-child relationship quality rating.

27. Premeditation scale.

28. Decision-making confidence scale.

29. Ability to maintain self-control in a stressful situation.

30. Income in the past month.


31. Months with no income since RA.

32. Number of months in which ran out of money before the end of the month since RA.

33. Amount of child support paid in the last month for all children.

34. Amount of child support actually paid in the past month.

35. Amount of informal support provided to children.

36. Amount of arrears.

37. Provided any in-kind informal child support.

38. Ever arrested in months 1 through 6 after random assignment.

39. Ever arrested in months 7 through 12 after random assignment.

40. Number of arrests in the year after random assignment.

41. Ever convicted of a crime in the year after random assignment.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
**The first four secondary outcome measures come from data from the National Directory of New Hires administrative records**

1. Ever employed in quarter 1 after random assignment.
- The quarter in which random assignment occurred will be considered Q0.

2. Ever employed in quarter 2 after random assignment.
- The quarter in which random assignment occurred will be considered Q0.

3. Ever employed in quarter 3 after random assignment.
- The quarter in which random assignment occurred will be considered Q0.

4. Ever employed in quarter 4 after random assignment.
- The quarter in which random assignment occurred will be considered Q0.

**The next set of secondary outcome measures come from the 6 month follow-up survey.**

5. Length of longest job held in the 6 months since random assignment.
- Respondents report on up to 6 jobs held since random assignment, and only jobs compensated for by cash, check, or direct deposit will be considered for this measure.

6. Earnings in the past week.
- This is equal to the sum of earnings in the past week from the up to 6 jobs respondents have held since random assignment, if they are currently working at those jobs.

7. Employment-related behavior problems.
- Respondents are asked 3 questions about behavior problems in the workplace. This measure has three categories: (1) no problems reported, (2) at least one problem reported, and (3) have not worked since random assignment.

8. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: transportation.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports transportation as causing them challenges in finding or keeping a job.

9. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: criminal record.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports their criminal record as causing them challenges in finding or keeping a job.

10. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: right skills or education.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports having the right skills or education as causing them challenges in finding or keeping a job.

11. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: substance use problems.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports substance use problems as causing them challenges in finding or keeping a job.

12. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: mental health problems.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports mental health problems as causing them challenges in finding or keeping a job.

13. Challenges encountered in finding or keeping a job: disability or health problems.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports disability or health problems as causing them challenges in finding or keeping a job.

14. Ever arrested in the 6 months since random assignment.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent reports being arrested since random assignment.

15. Ever violated parole in the 6 months since random assignment.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent ever violated their parole since random assignment.

16. Ever had parole revoked in the 6 months since random assignment.
- This measure indicates whether the respondent ever had their parole revoked in the 6 months since random assignment.

17. Parenting alliance: "Mother/guardian tells me I am doing a good job or otherwise lets me know I am being a good father."
- Respondents indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with the statement above.

18. Parenting alliance: "Mother/guardian and I are a good parenting team."
- Respondents indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with the statement above.

19. Maternal gatekeeping scale.
- This measure is equal to the average of how much respondents agree (on scale of (1) disagree to (4) agree) with two statements about the co-parent's making it difficult for the respondent to spend time with or talk to his child.

20. Undermining scale.
- This measure is equal to the average of how much respondents agree (on scale of (1) disagree to (4) agree) with four statements about the co-parent's undermining the respondent's parenting.

21. Father-child in-person contact.
- Respondents indicate how often they have seen their child in person in the past 30 days.

22. Frequency of father cancelling his plans with his child.
- Respondents indicate how often they cancel plans with their child.

23. Father-child relationship quality scale.
- Respondents indicate how much they agree with 5 statements (both positive and negative) about the quality of their relationship with their child. The outcome is equal to the average of these responses.

24. Father-child relationship quality scale (positive items).
- Respondents indicate how much they agree with 2 statements (positive only) about the quality of their relationship with their child. The outcome is equal to the average of these responses.

25. Father-child relationship quality scale (negative items).
- Respondents indicate how much they agree with 3 statements (negative only) about the quality of their relationship with their child. The outcome is equal to the average of these responses.

26. Father-child relationship quality rating.
- Respondents are asked to rate their relationship with their child from (1) excellent to (4) poor.

27. Premeditation scale.
- This measure is equal to the average of the frequencies the respondent engages in careful, premeditated, purposeful, and rational thinking; which respondents are asked about in 4 separate questions.

28. Decision-making confidence scale.
- This measure is equal to the average of the frequencies the respondent engages in certain decision-making activities, which respondents are asked about in 9 separate questions.

29. Ability to maintain self-control in a stressful situation.
- Respondents are asked to rate their ability to maintain self-control in a self-described stressful situation.

30. Income in the past month.
- Respondents are asked to provide their total income in the past month, from all sources.

31. Months with no income since RA.
- Respondents indicate the number of months since random assignment they have had no income. Available responses are (1) zero months, (2) one to two months, and (3) three months or more.

32. Number of months in which ran out of money before the end of the month since RA.
- Respondents indicate the number of months since random assignment they have run out of money before the end of the month. Available responses are (1) zero months, (2) one to two months, and (3) three months or more.

33. Amount of child support paid in the last month for all children.
- Respondents indicate the amount of formal child support they paid in the last month for all their children.

34. Amount of child support actually paid in the past month.
- This measure compares the amount of formal child support the respondent is required to pay versus the amount he actually paid. The measure has four categories: (1) not required to pay child support, (2) paid none of required child support, (3) paid some of required child support, and (4) paid all or more of required child support.

35. Amount of informal support provided to children.
- This measure is equal to the amount of informal child support the respondent paid in the last month for all children. Respondents living with all their children are not asked this question and are treated as if they responded $0.

36. Amount of arrears.
- Respondents indicate a range of back child support they owe, with available ranges of (1) None, (2) Less than $1000, (3) $1000 to $4999, (4) $5000 to $14,999, and (5) $15,000 or more.

37. Provided any in-kind informal child support.
- Respondents are asked a series of questions about whether they provided various forms of in-kind child support (e.g., food, toys, healthcare payments, etc.) for any of their children. The final measure is equal to 1 if they indicated they provided at least one kind of these supports, and 0 otherwise.

**The final four secondary outcome measures come from administrative criminal justice data from states.**

38. Ever arrested in months 1 through 6 after random assignment.
- This measures whether the participant was arrested in the first 6 months after random assignment.

39. Ever arrested in months 7 through 12 after random assignment.
- This measures whether the participant was arrested in the second 6 months after random assignment.

40. Number of arrests in the year after random assignment.
- This measures the participant's number of arrests in the year after random assignment.

41. Ever convicted of a crime in the year after random assignment.
- This measures whether the participant was convicted of a crime in the year after random assignment.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In the three sites that are testing CBI-Emp, fathers who were seeking services from the Responsible Fatherhood program were screened for eligibility for the CBI-Emp component using a validated risk-needs assessment, which assigns a score indicating a father’s risk of recidivism. Those fathers who are 18 years or older, with criminal justice involvement in the three years prior to study entry, and who score medium to high on the risk assessment were be randomly assigned to CBI-Emp program group or to a Services as Usual control group. Both research groups had access to services at the program site, but only the CBI-Emp program group had access to the new CBI-Emp curriculum and to staff trained in cognitive-behavioral techniques.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Fathers were randomly assigned to the CBI-Emp program or Services as Usual group in each of three program sites.
Sample size: planned number of observations
752 fathers are in the CBI-Emp study.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
375 fathers were randomly assigned to the CBI-Emp program and 377 fathers were randomly assigned to the Services as Usual control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For outcomes captured in administrative data, we can estimate impacts for all or nearly all fathers in the study. For administrative outcomes, our minimum detectable effect size is .157 standard deviations. For a binary outcome, we are powered to detect an impact of around 8 percentage points. For outcomes that are measured in a follow-up survey, we expect to have data for 80 percent of fathers in the sample. For survey outcomes, the minimum detectable effect size is .176 standard deviations, suggesting that we are powered to detect impacts of around 9 percentage points or larger on a binary outcome.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MDRC Institutional Review Board (IRB #0003522, FWA#00003694)
IRB Approval Date
2016-03-04
IRB Approval Number
797029-1