The Milwaukee Young Parenthood Study II:                                                                            African american baby with blanketCo-Parenting Counseling for Young Expectant Mothers and Fathers

Purpose: The Milwaukee Young Parenthood Study II is designed as a three-year project to test the efficacy of the Young Parenthood Program (YPP), a co-parenting counseling program designed to help young expectant parents develop the communication skills needed to provide their child with a safe, secure environment.


Program goals:

  • increase positive father involvement
  • prevent relationship violence and child abuse
  • support family planning
  • reduce stress among young mothers and fathers.



Enrollment: We are currently partnering with a number of community agencies to recruit for the project.  Eligible couplesThree multi-ethnic babies are recruited through one of the agencies listed below; we cannot accept community referrals.  Current recruitment partners are:

  • Milwaukee Health Services Inc. (Women’s Health Center)
  • Wheaton Franciscan St. Joseph’s Hospital (Women’s Outpatient Center)
  • Aurora Sinai Medical Center (Midwifery and Wellness Center)
  • Milwaukee Public Schools


Eligibility: Young couples participating in the MYPS II must fit the following criteria outlined below:African american baby and parent

  • Both the biological mother & father are willing to participate at the first meeting
  • The expectant mother is between 16 and 21 years old
  • The expectant father is between 16 and 26 years old,                                                            with no more than 5 years difference between the mother and father’s age
  • Expectant mother is less than 26 weeks pregnant
  • Must be the expectant mother’s first child

Four Babies

Study Activities:

  • After the couple is enrolled in the study, they complete questionnaires about their relationship, stress, and coping skills. These questionnaires, along with an additional questionnaire related to parenting, are repeated 6 months after the baby is born in order to gather data about the co-parenting relationship across the transition to parenthood. Participants are given a $20.00 gift card each time they complete these questionnaires.


  • Young Parenthood Program: After the first meeting, all couples are invited to participate it the Young Parenthood Program. The Young Parenthood Program is a preventive-intervention couples-focused program. The approach targets the couple rather than the individual parent to help strengthen the co-parenting relationship and improve communication skills, regardless of whether the couple stays together romantically. The program is flexible; we work with each couple to custom-fit the intervention to meet their needs.  We will randomly assign couples to either an 8- session or a 12-session version of the program.
    Participants are paid $10.00 for each counseling session they attend.


Funding: This project is funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program, UW School of Medicine and Public Health.