Group-based parent training program can improve child’s behavioral problems and parental mental health. A rapid increase in the development of social media platforms calls for the need to understand how effective social media-based parent support programs are for improving children’s behavioral problems.
To evaluate the feasibility of a group-based parent support program using the LINE text-messaging platform, a mixed-methods approach was used. Extremely low income parents were enrolled at 19 community health centers in Songkhla, Thailand. We added their phone numbers to LINE groups consisting of 10 to 12 families. The LINE group administrators were developmental pediatric nurses. During the period of 8 weeks, the LINE group administrators sent the texts and VDO about positive parenting (e.g., praise, quality time) and effective behavioral management (e.g., natural consequences, time-out) and initiated discussion to the LINE group every day. We assess acceptability, implementation, and practicality through in-depth interviews, surveys, and analysis of LINE group chats.
Ninety parents from 63 families (93%) of 68 eligible families that were approached to participate enrolled in this study. We created six LINE groups. A total of 2,243 messages were exchanged over 8 weeks. No negative interactions were reported. Parents reported several benefits (e.g., information support, companionship, confidence, stress reduction, and empowerment). Participants had differing views of the level of the group administrator’s involvement in the groups.
A moderated social media-based support group service for parents is safe and feasible. Experimental designs research to strengthen evidence of the effectiveness of the media-based support intervention is required.