These children are at increased risk of struggling in school, experiencing mental health or substance abuse problems, and engaging in risky sexual behavior.
Benefits of Online Parenting Skills Program
An online parenting skills program can help divorcing or separating parents, a new study from the Arizona State University Department of Psychology has revealed. Reduces interpersonal conflict, improves parenting quality, and reduces children’s symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“Most children return after a divorce, but anywhere between 25–33% of children have significant problems, including academic challenges, mental health problems, risky sexual behavior, and substance abuse,” says psychology at ASU. Professor and first author Sherlyn Volchik said. paper. “We showed that the online e-New Beginnings program, which is based on 30 years of research into factors that help children after divorce, benefits these children.”
The researchers, led by Volchik and Irwin Sandler, emeritus professor of psychology at ASU, adapted a personalized parenting skills program to be web-based and asynchronous, meaning parents can complete training sessions whenever they want and Even on your phone. ,
The effectiveness of the eNew Beginnings Program was tested in a randomized controlled trial involving 131 participants who were randomly given access to the program or assigned to a waiting list. The findings will be published in Family Court Review.
“Many divorced parents are concerned about their children and may be intimidated by the statistics they have read that put their children at increased risk for negative outcomes. This study shows parents divorcing and separating. provides the strongest evidence to date of a positive impact of an online program to date,” Sandler said.
“Family court judges can use this as a tool to protect the well-being of children and help parents through the process.”
E-New Beginning Program
The eNew Beginnings Program consists of 10 sessions that focus on the quality of parenting and the inter-parental conflicts that directly contribute to mental health problems in children following divorce or separation.
To test how well the program worked, the study used evaluations of parents and their children enrolled in the curriculum.
Parents and children reported that the curriculum improved parenting quality in children and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Both also reported reducing conflict between parents. The reduction in inter-parent conflict was greater for the online program than for the in-person version.
“We were surprised that the effects of the online program were stronger than those of the in-person program,” Volchik said. “The eNew Beginnings program was designed to be highly interactive and with a focus on teaching parents how to identify barriers to practicing the skills they are learning, which is an important part of the program.”
The online program also had a better completion rate than the in-person version, possibly because the asynchronous format allowed participants to stop and return at any time. Of those participants who completed the first session, 16% finished the in-person version, but 60% finished the eNew Beginnings Program.
“The completion rate for programs like this is unusual,” Sandler said. “The eNew Beginnings program was designed to be accessible, and more than half of participants completed the sessions on their smart phones.”
Volchik and Sandler have been working for years to increase access to the New Beginnings program because they know it works. The in-person program is expensive – he estimates it costs about $700 per family – and the combination of parenting scheduling constraints with tutors who are balancing work and childcare has resulted in lower program completion rates. have contributed.
“We’ve been working long hours to spread this program, and our frustration with the expense and other constraints prompted us to turn to the web,” Sandler said. “We’re thrilled that the eNew Beginnings Program works just as well.”
More than 80% of the participants said that Should family courts recommend a parent to divorce or separate, complete the eNew Beginnings Program.
This work was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.