Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
It is well-documented that parenting impacts childhood outcomes, and research has found specific positive parenting strategies that are associated with increased child resilience, well-being, and functioning (Williams et al., 2009). In-person and online programs aim to increase use of these strategies and have led to significant improvements in child outcomes and parental self-efficacy and adjustment (Webster-Stratton, 1981; Sanders, 1999; Morgan et al., 2018; Khanna et al., 2017). While findings are promising, work is needed to assess the preventative roles of single-session psychoeducational parent training programs in reducing the emergence of diagnosable concerns in children, yet research in this area is still in its early stages. The EBB and Flow Program was developed to provide caregivers with a brief, online psychoeducational program that teaches positive parenting strategies for families with a child between the ages of 3- and 7-years. The EBB and Flow Program offers information about minimizing accommodation, authoritative parenting, and process praise, along with why these approaches are effective and tips for implementing them. The current study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the EBB and Flow Program, and to conduct exploratory analyses of the effectiveness of the program improving parenting approaches and bolstering positive family outcomes, including increasing resilience and reducing child anxiety. In the study, 68 parents with a child between the ages of 3- and 7-years were randomized into either the EBB and Flow program (n =30) or a control group (n=38). Participants completed measures pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at a 3-month follow-up. At post-intervention, 96.6% of intervention group (n=30) felt that the program contained helpful strategies and that it was easy to understand. Similarly, 93.2% of participants reported feeling confident that they could use the strategies and 96.7% reported that their child would benefit if they used these strategies. A majority (93.2%) also reported they were excited to try out the strategies presented in the EBB and Flow program and 86.2% reported that they enjoyed watching the videos. Similarly, a majority (93.3%) reported they would recommend the program to a friend and 96.7% of participants reported that they would apply what they learned in the future. Exploratory analyses were conducted to assess changes in parental self-efficacy, accommodation, and overprotection, parenting styles (i.e., authoritative, permissive, and authoritarian, child anxiety symptoms, and family resilience; however, these analyses did not find any statistical significance between the intervention and control groups over the three-month follow-up period. Given the challenges with retention, most of these analyses demonstrated low power, which may have not been able to identify possible small effects within the analyses. Overall, these findings suggest that the EBB and Flow Program is feasible and acceptable by parents and adaptations referencing some of the recommendations provided by the sample (i.e., shorter videos, reference materials, etc.) will likely only further enhance the program. Due to the brevity of the program and inability to refer back to the skills discussed, the dose of the intervention may have been too low to effect observable change in the variables of interest. Future research is necessary to continue exploring the most appropriate ways to provide families psychoeducational information regarding parenting approaches and to bolster the effectiveness of this program to enhance positive parenting strategies and family outcomes.
DiFonte, Maria Catherine, "FEASIBILITY AND ACCEPTABILITY OF THE EBB AND FLOW PARENTING PROGRAM" (2022). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1404.