Abstract: Dad2K: A Technology-Enhanced Approach to Engage Dads in an Evidence-Based Parenting Program (Society for Prevention Research 22nd Annual Meeting)

282 Dad2K: A Technology-Enhanced Approach to Engage Dads in an Evidence-Based Parenting Program

Thursday, May 29, 2014
Everglades (Hyatt Regency Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Shannon Self-Brown, PhD, Associate Professor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Each year there are approximately 700,000 substantiated cases of Child Maltreatment (CM). Parents are the perpetrators of maltreatment in approximately 80% of reported cases. Consequently, experts have recommended behavioral parent training programs as an approach to CM prevention. The SafeCare program is an empirically-supported parenting program that focuses on prevention of physical abuse and neglect for children in the highest risk age group, those 0-5 years of age. As is true of other parenting programs, the majority of research evaluating the effectiveness of SafeCare has focused on mothers. However, national data indicate that fathers are involved in 36% of substantiated cases of maltreatment annually.

This presentation will describe a research project funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities that focuses on the adaptation of SafeCare for fathers utilizing technology, called Dad2K. The presentation will focus on the development and pilot testing of the technology enhancements to Dad2K.  Specifically, the Dad2K home visitors bring a touchscreen tablet to each home visiting session and the fathers view engaging, interactive content on psychoeducation of target skills and video modeling of SafeCare skills via the computer software on the tablet. The software then prompts the home visitor to practice the targeted skills with the dad in session, and discuss any of the content the father reports having challenges with while completing the software. Data from beta testing of the software with home visiting professionals and fathers will be presented. In addition, pilot data from the first 4 completers of the Dad2K program will be discussed, which has demonstrated positive trends in outcomes related to father-child interaction, father stress, and acceptance/ feasibility of the technology-enhanced program.

Next steps in the project will also be discussed, which includes a randomized trial of 120 at-risk fathers (Dad2K; no-intervention control). The trial will include 3 assessment time points:  baseline, 7 weeks post (following the Dad2K intervention), and 3 months post. Primary outcomes of interest include father parenting behaviors, father child maltreatment risk, father-child interaction, and child behavioral outcomes.

If Dad2K is successful in reducing CM risk for fathers, the program could reach thousands of at-risk fathers through the National SafeCare Training and Research Center. Thus, the potential impact of this project includes a reduction in CM perpetration and improved relationships among families for a large population, which will ultimately result in reduced heath disparities among children and adults in the United States.