Awarded Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury


The goal of this study is to extend evaluation of a theoretically and empirically-based prevention program (Thoughtful Parenting: Moment to Moment, TPMM), which was designed to reduce factors associated with problems in parenting (including verbal and physical assault of children). Preliminary data from a clinical trial with at-risk mothers indicate that TPMM is effective in reducing child physical abuse risk and depressive symptoms. The proposed study was designed to extend these findings, by examining whether gender moderates TPMM effectiveness, hence the target population will include both mothers and fathers at risk for problems in parenting (n = 192). This study will further extend findings beyond that of the clinical trial conducted with at-risk mothers (which used a treatment as usual control design) by employing a parent education program as the control condition. Use of the parent education control condition will standardize opportunities for contact with other parents and facilitators across treatment and control conditions, thus providing for a more stringent test of TPMM’s effectiveness. In addition to the above goals, this project will provide additional data regarding the extent to which facilitator training (extensive versus nominal) moderates TPMM’s effectiveness. Activities will include a multi-site evaluation using a randomized controlled design with pre-, post-, and six month follow-up assessments. The design includes two intervention conditions (extensively versus nominally trained TPMM facilitators) and a parent education control condition. Outcomes assessed will include self reports, behavioral assessments (in-home observations), and official child maltreatment reports. It is hypothesized that across pre-, post-, and follow-up assessments, TPMM groups, but not the control group, will demonstrate significant improvements (e.g., reductions in child physical abuse risk, depressive symptoms and increased ego strength) and that these improvements will be maintained across time.