The Role of Engagement in a Parenting Intervention for Military Families

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The Role of Engagement in a Parenting Intervention for Military Families

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Children of recently deployed parents tend to have higher rates of psychosocial difficulties than children of non-deployed parents. Fortunately, evidence-based parenting programs have shown positive child outcomes through improved parenting. The effectiveness of preventive interventions on parenting, however, may vary by military parents’ program engagement. Study 1 examined whether baseline levels of parenting, child adjustment, and other family demographics were associated with mother (n = 190) and father (n = 180) program engagement among parents who participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a parenting intervention designed for military families known as After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT). Important predictors of different forms of mother and father engagement are discussed. Study 2 used complier average causal effects (CACE) analysis to test whether mother (n = 314) and father (n = 294) program engagement (defined as attending 4 or more parenting sessions) was associated with changes in mother and father parental locus of control and observed parenting practices at 12-month follow-up. Findings indicated that mothers and fathers who engaged in the parenting intervention improved in parental locus of control at 12-month follow-up. Mothers, but not fathers, who engaged in the parenting intervention significantly improved in observed parenting at 12-month follow-up. Post-hoc analyses revealed that fathers needed to attend at least 11 session to evince significant improvements in observed parenting practices. Results from these studies will help identify under what conditions military parents benefit from a parenting intervention and may lead to more effectively tailored programs for military families.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2018. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Abigail Gewirtz. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 100 pages.

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Chesmore, Ashley. (2018). The Role of Engagement in a Parenting Intervention for Military Families. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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