Internet Stepparent Training for Parent of Adolescents

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Oregon Center for Applied Science, Inc.
EUGENE, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project will develop an interactive multimedia Web site program to teach behavioral parenting skills to parents and partners in divorced families with adolescents. It will be useful because it will deliver theory-based parenting instruction to parents in divorced families who are unlikely to attend traditional parenting classes, or who do not have such resources available locally. A competency-based instructional design will use video vignettes to test user comprehension of appropriate parenting and relationship building strategies. Based upon user responses to interactive questions, video commentators will review the implications of modeled behaviors, lauding effective responses and recommending better approaches if appropriate. The interface design will facilitate use by inexperienced computer users and by parents with limited reading skills. The Phase I prototype was designed for use on the Internet and as a CD-ROM. It was tested in a randomized trial by females in stepparenting relationships. The results showed significant effects on attitudes, knowledge, self-efficacy, and intentions, with a large multivariate effect size. In Phase II, the scope of the program will be broadened with targeted programs providing additional parenting skills and also addressing the perspectives and roles of both mothers and fathers, and parents in blended families. The Phase II product will be developed for Internet, CD-ROM, and a proprietary Web-enabled CD-ROM that provides high quality video to computers connected by low-bandwidth (i.e., dial-up modem connections). The fully developed program will be evaluated in a large randomized trial on the Internet.