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Intervention Summary

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Two Families Now: Effective Parenting Through Separation and Divorce

Two Families Now: Effective Parenting Through Separation and Divorce (TFN) is an online, self-directed curriculum for parents who have separated or divorced or are in the process of divorce. The program aims to increase the use of positive parenting and coparenting strategies, increase parental self-efficacy, and facilitate the development of a supportive network, as well as improve child outcomes such as prosocial behavior. Parents can access the 4- to 6-hour, self-paced curriculum online anytime during the 30-day subscription period. The four modules of the curriculum address coparenting skills (e.g., protecting children from conflict, using effective communication, letting go of control, ensuring positive transitions between households), self-care skills (e.g., reducing stress, building a support network, setting new goals), and parenting skills (e.g., establishing routines, respecting the child's relationship with both parents, effective listening, repairing relationship "mistakes").

The program is delivered in a training format that encourages active participation, individual problem solving, and expert feedback through a variety of components: Videos, which feature racially and ethnically diverse families, address the skills targeted by the intervention by depicting effective and ineffective responses to issues related to divorce; knowledge checks give parents the opportunity to test their knowledge and receive immediate feedback; interactive exercises guide parents in practicing newly learned skills, first by examining a hypothetical situation and then by customizing what they have learned to their own situation; and journaling encourages parents to set achievable goals and monitor their progress. Other features include podcasts, printable resource materials (e.g., key points, charts that allow users to track progress), a glossary of terms, and automated emails that reinforce the material after program completion.

In the study reviewed for this summary, individual parents were recruited to participate, not mother and father pairs. A modified version of the intervention, which was not evaluated in the research reviewed for this summary, is available on DVD with a viewer's guide and is used by professional parent educators and family therapists who implement the intervention with groups or individuals.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: September 2013
1: Knowledge about positive parenting and coparenting strategies
2: Intentions to use positive parenting and coparenting strategies
3: Parental self-efficacy
4: Child prosocial behavior
5: Parent satisfaction with social support
Outcome Categories Family/relationships
Social functioning
Ages 0-5 (Early childhood)
6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian
Black or African American
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings Home
Geographic Locations No geographic locations were identified by the developer.
Implementation History Two Families Now was first implemented in 2010 as part of a grant-funded project. To date, 229 individuals have used the online version. The intervention has been used in at least 19 States: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: Yes
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations Implementation components, including the curriculum and printable materials, have been translated into Spanish. For the Spanish version of the intervention, Ahora Somos Dos Familias, the videos use a Spanish-language voiceover.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Selective

Quality of Research
Review Date: September 2013

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Final report. Parenting through divorce: Low-cost, innovative training. Grant #: 2R44HD050021-02. Program name: Two Families Now: Effective Parenting During Separation and Divorce. (2011).

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Knowledge about positive parenting and coparenting strategies
Description of Measures Knowledge about positive parenting and coparenting strategies was assessed using 8 multiple-choice items from the Video Assessment Test, which was administered online. Parents answered questions after watching 3 video vignettes depicting real-life situations. Respondents were asked to select a single answer for 5 items and all the answers that applied for 3 items. Scores were calculated by adding the number of correct answers, resulting in a score ranging from 0 to 8. Sample items included the following:

  • "What is the most harmful part of divorce for children?" (Response options: "the loss of growing up in one home with both parents," "conflict between parents," "financial changes," and "changes to daily/weekly routine")
  • "Why is it important to use a move forward message when communicating with your co-parent?" (Response options: "the other person is more likely to listen," "you avoid using a blaming statement," "the other person will hear what YOU plan to do, not what you expect THEM to do," "you will help resolve the situation," and "all of the above")
  • "The parenting paths parents take during separation/divorce are:" (Response options: "high conflict, mild conflict, no-conflict," "high conflict, parallel, cooperative," "conflict and no-conflict," and "it depends on the path the other parent is taking")
Key Findings Individual parents (not mother and father pairs) who filed for divorce or had a child custody case in the past 4 years, had at least one child ages 3 to 18, and had Internet access were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Intervention group parents had 2 weeks to access the online material. Control group parents did not receive the intervention but were able to access resources on their own. Assessments were conducted at pretest, posttest (2 weeks after pretest), and follow-up (4 weeks after posttest). Results included the following:

  • From pre- to posttest, the intervention group had a greater increase in knowledge about parenting and coparenting strategies than the control group (p = .01), a finding with a medium effect size (partial eta-squared = .078).
  • From pretest to follow-up, the intervention group had a greater increase in knowledge about parenting and coparenting strategies than the control group (p = .032), a finding with a medium effect size (partial eta-squared = .061).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.8 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Intentions to use positive parenting and coparenting strategies
Description of Measures Intentions to use positive parenting and coparenting strategies were assessed using 8 items from the Video Assessment Test, which was administered online. These items assessed the intentions of a parent to apply the concepts taught in the curriculum. After watching 3 video vignettes depicting real-life situations, parents rated their intentions using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all likely) to 5 (very likely). Scores were averaged across the items, resulting in a score ranging from 1 to 5. Sample items included the following:

  • "How likely are you to avoid quizzing your children about their other parent?"
  • "How likely are you to avoid complaining about your co-parent to or in front of your children?"
  • "How likely are you to use problem-solving techniques with your children?"
Key Findings Individual parents (not mother and father pairs) who filed for divorce or had a child custody case in the past 4 years, had at least one child ages 3 to 18, and had Internet access were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Intervention group parents had 2 weeks to access the online material. Control group parents did not receive the intervention but were able to access resources on their own. Assessments were conducted at pretest, posttest (2 weeks after pretest), and follow-up (4 weeks after posttest). Results included the following:

  • From pre- to posttest, the intervention group had a greater increase in intentions to use positive coparenting strategies than the control group (p = .001), a finding with a medium effect size (partial eta-squared = .118).
  • From pretest to follow-up, the intervention group had a greater increase in intentions to use positive coparenting strategies than the control group, but the difference between groups was not statistically significant.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.8 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Parental self-efficacy
Description of Measures Parental self-efficacy in using positive parenting and coparenting strategies was measured using 8 items from the Video Assessment Test, which was administered online. After watching 3 video vignettes depicting real-life situations, respondents used a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all confident) to 5 (very confident) to rate their confidence in using various strategies taught in the curriculum. Scores were averaged across the items, resulting in a score ranging from 1 to 5. Sample items included the following:

  • "How confident are you about your ability to avoid quizzing your children about their other parent?"
  • "How confident are you about your ability to let go of trying to control what happens in your co-parent's home?"
  • "How confident are you about your ability to use problem-solving techniques with your children?"
Key Findings Individual parents (not mother and father pairs) who filed for divorce or had a child custody case in the past 4 years, had at least one child ages 3 to 18, and had Internet access were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Intervention group parents had 2 weeks to access the online material. Control group parents did not receive the intervention but were able to access resources on their own. Assessments were conducted at pretest, posttest (2 weeks after pretest), and follow-up (4 weeks after posttest). Results included the following:

  • From pre- to posttest, the intervention group had a greater increase in parental self-efficacy than the control group, but the difference between groups was not statistically significant.
  • From pretest to follow-up, the intervention group had a greater increase in parental self-efficacy than the control group (p = .029), a finding with a medium effect size (partial eta-squared = .063).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.8 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Child prosocial behavior
Description of Measures Child prosocial behavior was measured using the 5-item prosocial competency scale from Goodman's Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Using a 3-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not true) to 3 (certainly true), each parent rated his or her children on 5 items: "considerate of other people's feelings"; "shares readily with other children, for example, toys, treats, pencils"; "helpful if someone is hurt, upset or feeling ill"; "kind to younger children"; and "often offers to help others (parents, teachers, other children)." Scores were averaged across the items, resulting in a score ranging from 1 to 3. The instrument was administered online.
Key Findings Individual parents (not mother and father pairs) who filed for divorce or had a child custody case in the past 4 years, had at least one child ages 3 to 18, and had Internet access were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Intervention group parents had 2 weeks to access the online material. Control group parents did not receive the intervention but were able to access resources on their own. Assessments were conducted at pretest and follow-up (4 weeks after the 2-week intervention). From pretest to follow-up, children of intervention group parents had a greater increase in parent-reported prosocial behavior than children of control group parents (p = .024), a finding with a medium effect size (partial eta-squared = .067).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 5: Parent satisfaction with social support
Description of Measures Parent satisfaction with social support was assessed with an adapted Social Support for Parenting Scale administered online. In response to 17 items, parents used a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all in the last month) to 7 (many times per day) to indicate the extent to which they have desired support, received support, and been satisfied with the support they received in the past month. Scores were averaged across the items, resulting in a score ranging from 1 to 7. Sample items included the following:

  • "During the LAST MONTH, how much did you feel you needed advice and information about raising your children?"
  • "During the LAST MONTH, how many times did you feel the need to get together with other people to have fun or to relax?"
  • "How many times in the LAST MONTH did you actually talk with another person about things that were personal and private?"
Key Findings Individual parents (not mother and father pairs) who filed for divorce or had a child custody case in the past 4 years, had at least one child ages 3 to 18, and had Internet access were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Intervention group parents had 2 weeks to access the online material. Control group parents did not receive the intervention but were able to access resources on their own. Assessments were conducted at pretest and follow-up (4 weeks after the 2-week intervention). From pretest to follow-up, satisfaction with social support increased for the intervention group and decreased for the control group (p = .003), a finding with a medium effect size (partial eta-squared = .113).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 0-5 (Early childhood)
6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
81.8% Female
18.2% Male
85.9% White
7.1% Race/ethnicity unspecified
4% Black or African American
2% Asian
1% American Indian or Alaska Native

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Knowledge about positive parenting and coparenting strategies 0.0 2.0 2.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.8
2: Intentions to use positive parenting and coparenting strategies 0.0 2.0 2.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.8
3: Parental self-efficacy 0.0 2.0 2.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 1.8
4: Child prosocial behavior 2.5 2.0 2.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 2.3
5: Parent satisfaction with social support 2.0 2.0 2.5 1.5 1.5 3.5 2.2

Study Strengths

All the assessment instruments used in the study have face validity, and the instruments used to measure satisfaction with social support and child prosocial behavior have documented reliability. Data logs from the program Web site indicated that all participants in the intervention group completed all required components of the program. The use of online assessments limited missing data. The attrition rate was low (14%). The study used appropriate analyses.

Study Weaknesses

No psychometric data were provided on the Video Assessment Test. No data were available on the number of times participants accessed the Web site or the total time participants spent on the Web site, raising concerns about fidelity. The rate of attrition was substantially higher in the intervention group than control group, and methods to explore and, if necessary, control for attrition were not applied. Because demographic data were not reported separately for the intervention and control group, it is not known whether demographics differed significantly between the groups.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: September 2013

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Referral handout

Two Families Now: Registration Help

Program Web site, http://www.twofamiliesnow.com

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
4.0 2.5 1.5 2.7

Dissemination Strengths

The program Web site is easy to navigate and includes materials that summarize the content conveyed in the videos. The videos are realistic and engaging and feature racially and ethnically diverse families. Participants are not limited in the number of times they can access the intervention online while the subscription is active. Blogs and e-newsletters complement core implementation materials. The curriculum is completely self-guided by participants, though the developer offers on-site and online customized training and support upon request to agencies interested in providing additional support to the parents they refer. Troubleshooting assistance is provided in a question-and-answer format. Some elements of fidelity monitoring are integrated into the online system; participant progress is tracked, and all four modules must be completed for the participant to receive a certificate of completion.

Dissemination Weaknesses

No standardized, written guidance is provided to referring agencies other than information on how to refer a participant. The quality assurance system does not include a measure of participant retention or application of course knowledge and skills. There is no guidance available to referral agencies on measuring the impact of the program.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Online course--individual user $29 per user per month for unlimited access Yes, one online course option is required
Online course--site license Varies depending on site needs Yes, one online course option is required
DVD with viewer's guide for use by facilitators $249 each No
Customer service and technical support via email and phone Free No
On-site and online implementation training and support for program customization and adaptation Varies depending on site needs No

Additional Information

Using the DVD with viewer's guide, facilitators can implement a modified version of Two Families Now in person with groups or individuals.

Replications

No replications were identified by the developer.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation, contact:
Kelly Ross
(541) 343-4747
kross@irised.com

To learn more about research, contact:
Jordan Pennefather, Ph.D.
(541) 343-4747
jpennefather@irised.com

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

Web Site(s):