Web-Based Prevention of Parenting Difficulties in Young, Urban Mothers Enrolled in Post-Secondary Education.
Research consistently indicates that young mothers are at elevated risk for adverse social and economic risks. Recent attention has been paid to the value of maternal educational attainment for their children's economic and social outcomes. Pursuit of post-secondary education requires mothers to balance multiple roles, potentially stressing the parent-child relationship. Yet, almost no studies have addressed parenting and associated stress in young mothers enrolled in post-secondary education, and no preventive intervention trials have been conducted. We screened young mothers (<25 years at child's birth) pursuing post-secondary education in an urban, inner city college for study inclusion based on elevated parenting stress, and participated in a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a web-based parenting intervention (Triple P Online) in reducing parenting stress and dysfunctional discipline (N = 52). Mothers were randomly assigned to the web-based parenting program condition or to a waitlist control condition. Mothers who completed at least the first four core modules of the online program had lower scores on the Parenting Scale's subscales (Overreactivity, Verbosity, and Laxness), compared to those who did not complete four or more modules. No intervention effects were obtained for parenting stress. The current study provides preliminary evidence of the efficacy of this online parenting program for reducing risk for dysfunctional discipline in student mothers. Future research is warranted to replicate these findings, and to test whether provision of supplemental support for implementation, or briefer program formats may promote both program compliance and outcomes related to reducing parenting stress.
Ehrensaft, MK; Knous-Westfall, HM; Alonso, TL
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