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04-07-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2020

Does the SafeCare Parenting Program Impact Caregiver Mental Health?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2020
Auteurs:
Elisa Romano, Elena Gallitto, Kelly Firth, Daniel Whitaker
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Abstract

There is some research suggesting that parenting programs have the ability to impact not only parenting behaviors but also caregiver well-being. The current study examined whether the SafeCare® program for families involved in child welfare because of neglect-related concerns had an impact on caregiver mental health, specifically anxious/depressed symptoms and aggressive behavior. We examined these outcomes in a Canadian sample of 76 parents who completed a self-report questionnaire prior to beginning the SafeCare program and then at post-program and 3 months following program completion. Multi-level growth curve modeling results indicated statistically significant improvements in caregiver anxious/depressed symptoms following program completion. The findings were more nuanced, however, from the perspective of clinical significance. There were few caregivers (3.9%) whose improvements in anxious/depressed symptoms crossed the threshold from clinical to normative levels, primarily because most (84.4%) had scores that fell within normative levels pre-SafeCare. However, among those parents who showed a “real” change in score from pre- to post-SafeCare, the majority (70%) were in the direction of improvements. Although findings suggested that SafeCare completion might contribute to improved caregiver mental well-being in the form of anxious/depressed symptoms, our study was limited by the lack of a comparison group and small sample size. The findings point to the importance of examining intervention effects in a comprehensive manner that considers change from the perspective of both statistical and clinical significance.

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