Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Can Technology and the Media Help Reduce Dysfunctional Parenting and Increase Engagement With Preventative Parenting Interventions?

Child Maltreatment
In an evaluation of the television series "Driving Mum and Dad Mad," 723 families participated and were randomly assigned to either a standard or technology enhanced viewing condition (included additional Web-support). Parents in both conditions reported significant improvements from pre- to postintervention in their child's behavior, dysfunctional parenting, parental anger, depression, and self-efficacy. Short-term improvements were maintained at 6-months follow-up. Regressions identified predictors of program outcomes and level of involvement. Parents who watched the entire series had more severe problems at preintervention and high sociodemographic risk than parents who did not watch the entire series. Few sociodemographic, child, or parent variables assessed at preintervention predicted program outcomes or program engagement, suggesting that a wide range of parents from diverse socioeconomic status benefited from the program. Media interventions depicting evidence-based parenting programs may be a useful means of reaching hard to engage families in population-level child maltreatment prevention programs.

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