Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

John Lutzker

Second Advisor

Emily Graybill

Third Advisor

Kate Guastaferro


Child maltreatment is a serious public health problem that leads to psychological, physical, behavioral, and economic burdens for children and broader community. Current data suggest that child maltreatment has declined over the past 20 years with the smallest declines in child neglect. In 2013, medical neglect represented approximately 31% of all substantiated cases of child maltreatment. SafeCare® is an evidence-based home visiting program that targets risk factors for child maltreatment by providing three modules: home safety, health, and parent-child interaction, or parent-infant interaction for children who are not walking. The SafeCare health module aims to teach parents how to identify and treat their children when they become ill, reducing the potential for medical neglect. Previous SafeCare research demonstrated that incorporating cell phones into training improves home safety and parent-child interaction outcomes. The current research evaluated the SafeCare health module and the effect cell phone enhancements had on parents’ child health knowledge. Data reaffirm the value of the SafeCare health module to increase parental child health skills and that incorporating cell phone technology may promote generalization and may engage participants and increase effectiveness.