Full project title: A Web-Based Father-Infant Interaction Program for Reducing Child Maltreatment

Funding Agency: National Institute of Mental Health

Project Objectives

The proposed 2-year project encompasses adaptation and testing of an existing empirically supported parent-infant interaction coaching intervention to focus on fathers. Low-income fathers of infants represent a disadvantaged group who have significantly extremely limited access to parenting programs designed to enhance parent responsiveness. We plan to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention in improving positive parenting and reducing negative parenting. InfantNet (Feil et al, 2008; Baggett, 2010), an Internet-based adaptation of the Play and Learning Strategies (PALS; Landry & Smith, 1996), a well-established parenting intervention to promote sensitivity and responsiveness among mothers. InfantNet will be expanded to include fathers: BabyNet for Dads (BND). The adaptation will involve the creation of father-focused video curriculum, which will include videos featuring fathers of ethically and racially diverse backgrounds interacting with their infant in authentic father-focused situations. In addition specific content will be added to address the unique needs of fathers. To evaluate the effectiveness of the BND program, we will conduct a randomized control trial design study with a total of 40 English-speaking low-income fathers and their infants in rural and urban settings in Oregon and Kansas. In addition we will examine initial contact procedures with fathers through multiple recruitment approaches documenting not only recruitment success through each approach but also the representativeness of fathers recruited through these different approaches. Recruitment approaches to be examined will include: a) community-based flyers/brochures; b) Internet listings; c) Media Advertising; d) commercial distribution lists; and e) participant referrals.