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SMART Optimization of a Parenting Program for Active Duty Families


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The objective of this study is to provide ways to meet the needs of military families experiencing deployments by testing a program to strengthen parenting and family resilience (i.e. children's wellbeing, parents' adjustment, and marital relationships). After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) is a family resilience program which helps parents to be their childrens best teachers by providing them with effective positive parenting tools. Prior rigorous research on ADAPT has shown that it benefits service members, their partners, and their children. The program appears to improve parents' sense of control, or feelings of confidence in their parenting, and these improvements lead to better observed parenting, children's better adjustment, and less distress among and between parents. Families' needs differ - some parents need or want less intensive or online programs, whereas others may need more intensive or in person programs; some parents may do better in a group program whereas others may need individual support. This study examines multiple formats, 'doses,' and sequences of the ADAPT program in a sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART) study design. This is a 2-stage study, whereby families are first randomized to one of two 'small dose' ADAPT interventions (i.e. workshop or online programs), and if they need further support (i.e. are not helped by the program, as indicated by their responses on a measure of parenting sense of control) they are subsequently randomized again, either to have access to a booster group program or a booster individual family ADAPT format. The various formats and sequences are evaluated against each other to determine what works best for whom. This is an innovative study that will advance the field of personalization or tailoring; it is the first military family personalization SMART that we know of.



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