Home visitor relationship security: Association with perceptions of work, satisfaction, and turnover

Lori Burrell*, Elizabeth McFarlane, Darius Tandon, Loretta Fuddy, Anne Duggan, Philip Leaf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Home visiting is widely used to improve outcomes in families at risk for poor parenting. Impact is modest and variable, owing in part to poor fidelity. Attachment theory suggests that home visitors' relationship security influences fidelity because establishing a trusting relationship with parents is central to service delivery. This study describes paraprofessional home visitors' relationship security and relates it to demographics, psychological attributes, and work perceptions and intentions. Home visitors (n = 62) varied widely on the two major domains of relationship security: anxiety and avoidance. Relationship security was stable over time. Relationship anxiety and avoidance were associated with psychological and work constructs in theoretically predicted ways. Relationship anxiety was negatively associated with self-efficacy and positively associated with negative affect and indicators of burnout. Relationship avoidance was negatively associated with self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and tenure as a home visitor. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-610
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Attachment
  • Burnout
  • Early intervention
  • Family support program
  • Home visitors
  • Job satisfaction
  • Relationship security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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