Program

May 02, 2014

OVERVIEW

Parents Matter! Program is a community-based intervention that teaches sexual communication and HIV-prevention skills to African American parents of preadolescent youth. A randomized control trial found that parents in the Parents Matter! Program were more likely to perceive their child as ready to learn about sexual issues than parents in the control group.  Compared with control parents, intervention parents reported greater increases in communication regarding HIV/AIDS, condoms, and abstinence during the twelve months after the intervention.  A greater proportion of intervention child-parent dyads agreed that the parent had communicated with the child about topics including HIV/AIDS, condoms, and abstinence compared with parent-child dyads in the control group. Outcomes for the brief intervention group (a single session) were not different from the control group.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: African American parents of preadolescent youth

The Parents Matter! Program is a community-based parenting program that is intended to increase parents’ ability to communicate with their preadolescent children about sexual topics.  The program has a brief, one-session version and an enhanced five-session version.  The enhanced version includes structured learning experiences, discussion, videotapes, overhead projections, modeling, role-playing, group exercises, and homework assignments designed to raise parents’ awareness of adolescent risk behavior; enhance parenting skills known to reduce sexual risk behavior among adolescents; and increase parents’ communication about sexual topics and their confidence, comfort, and responsiveness in communicating with their preadolescent child.  Children attend part of the fifth session so that parents can practice and receive feedback on their communication skills.  The brief version covers the same topics, but in a lecture format with no opportunity to practice.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Miller, K.S., et al. (2011). Enhancing HIV communication between parents and children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program. AIDS Education and Prevention, 23(6), 550-563.

Evaluated population: The sample included a total of 1,115 African American parents with a preadolescent child in either fourth or fifth grade and aged 9-12 years.  Slightly more than half (55 percent) of child participants were female, and the average age was ten.  Approximately 85 percent of parent participants were mothers and approximately 45 percent of the parents had some sort of post-secondary education.

Approach:

A total of 1,545 parents were invited to participate in the study at the three study sites and 1,115 consented to participate.  One parent and one child from each family was enrolled, if more than one child was eligible, the oldest child was selected. Eligible parent-child dyads completed a baseline assessment and were then randomized to the enhanced five-session intervention, the brief one-session intervention, or a control group that attended one session with information on general health topics, such as obesity prevention.  Parents and children were assessed at post-intervention and then again at six- and twelve-month follow ups.  Each dyad received $25 upon completion of each assessment in order to cover expenses incurred.  Participants assigned to the enhanced intervention had higher retention (84 percent) at 12-month follow up compared with those assigned to the brief intervention (65 percent) and control (61 percent).  Parent assessments included their perceptions about their child’s readiness to learn about sex and frequency of HIV prevention communication topics.  Children were also asked about the frequency of HIV prevention communication topics.  Effective parent communication was defined as both parent and child recalling having communicated about a particular topic.

Results:

Overall, significant increases in communication regarding HIV/AIDS, condoms, and abstinence were found during the twelve months after the intervention when comparing parent-child dyads who received the enhanced intervention with those in the brief intervention and control groups.  Regarding effective communication, a greater proportion of enhanced intervention child-parent dyads agreed that the parent had communicated with the child about topics including: HIV/AIDS, condoms, and abstinence compared with parent-child dyads in the brief intervention and control groups.  The only difference between the brief intervention and the control group was an increase in communication about HIV/AIDS among parents in the brief intervention group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

 References:

Miller, K.S., et al. (2011). Enhancing HIV communication between parents and children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program. AIDS Education and Prevention, 23(6), 550-563.

Website: http://www.cdcnpin.org/parentsmatter/

Keywords: Children, Males and Females, Black/African American, Manual, Community-based, Parent Training/Education, Skills Training, Sexual Activity, STD/HIV/AIDS, Condom Use and Contraception

Program information last updated 05/02/2014

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