Parents and children exposed to war and relocation have high rates of negative relational and mental health outcomes. This dissertation tested the feasibility of implementing an adapted evidence-based parenting intervention for contexts of traumatic and relocation stress. In the first phase of the feasibility study, I conducted three focus groups with Karen caregivers (N = 12, 5, and 12) to assess parenting practices in the Karen refugee community. Key themes identified related to mothers’ physical care for their children, parenting difficulties after relocation to the U.S., and practices of discipline, direction-giving, and encouragement. In the second phase, I adapted the evidence-based intervention and assessed its feasibility. Two groups comprised of eleven female Karen refugee caregivers participated in the intervention. Participants and a focal child completed structured assessments at baseline and follow-up as well as an ethnographic interview at follow-up. Caregivers reported changes in their teaching, directions, emotional regulation, discipline, and in child compliance. Children reported changes in teaching, directions, discipline, their own compliance, and in positive parent involvement. Caregivers reported higher mental health distress immediately after the intervention, potentially due to increased awareness. Children reported a decrease in mental health symptoms.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2017. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Elizabeth Wieling. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 107 pages.
Assessing the Feasibility of Implementing a Parenting Intervention with Karen Refugees.
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