Abstract: Building a Statewide Infrastructure for Parenting Education (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

389 Building a Statewide Infrastructure for Parenting Education

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Regency B (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Shauna Tominey, PhD, Assistant Professor of Practice, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Michaella Sektnan, M.S., Senior Faculty Research Assistant, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Denise Rennekamp, M.S., Consultant, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Introduction: A wealth of research highlights the connection between parenting education and increased positive parenting practices, health-promoting behaviors, cognitive and social development, and child and parent mental health (Grindal et al., 2006; Pinquart & Teubert, 2010) as well as decreased parent stress and child abuse and neglect (Lundahl & Nimer, 2006). Despite this research, parenting education opportunities are limited in most states. This study focuses on an initiative by four philanthropic foundations and a university to create a statewide infrastructure for parenting education through regional parenting education Hubs. Study aims were to: 1) examine the impact of a statewide parenting education system on availability of parenting education programs and 2) evaluate the impact of parenting education on parenting practices. Methods: Programming data were collected from 15 parenting education Hubs from 2010-2018. Hubs reported on programs offered, number of families served, demographics, and evaluation data. Data were analyzed from a sample of 7,815 parents who participated in parenting education series. Participants were 33 years on average (SD=9.4), 70% women, and 70% low-income. Parents identified as Caucasian (65%), Hispanic/Latino (25%), Black/African-American (3%), Asian/Pacific Islander (3%), and Native American (1%). A pre-post retrospective assessment (Parenting Skills Ladder) was used to measure positive parenting practices, averaging pre/post scores across 12 items (α=.89; Eigenvalue=5.07; factor loadings: .53-.72). Results: RQ 1: Programming data revealed that Hubs significantly increased availability of parenting education statewide with 21,723 families participating in 2,637 parenting series; 9,338 new families reached through home visits; 53,840 parents participating in workshops; and 256,875 people participating in family activities. RQ 2: Participants in parenting education series reported significant gains in positive parenting practices, t(7814)=134.76, p<.001. Multiple regression analysis testing for effects of gender, ethnicity, parenting method (parenting alone/co-parenting), income, attendance, and curriculum on gains in positive parenting practices was statistically significant, F(12, 7802)=228.59, p<0.001, R2=.26. Attendance was significantly associated with parenting gains with greatest gains seen for participants who attended “most classes” (β=.1). Participation in evidence-based curricula related to significantly higher scores than participating in non-evidence-based curricula (β=.07). Conclusions: Findings highlight that a statewide infrastructure increased access to parenting education. Innovative partnerships may be an effective approach to ensure families have the skills they need to thrive.