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19-10-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2020

Parent Non-engagement in Preventive Parenting Programs for Adolescent Mental Health: Stakeholder Views

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2020
Samantha Jane Finan, Narelle Warren, Naomi Priest, Jun Shin Mak, Marie B. H. Yap
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-019-01627-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Previous research has focused on interviewing parents who had engaged or dropped out of preventive parenting programs for adolescent mental health about factors associated with overall engagement. However, it is unknown if these factors are similar for non-engaged parents in regards to their intention to enroll or if we require alternative strategies to increase initial enrollment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the factors related to non-engaged parents’ intention to enroll.


An iterative thematic qualitative approach was used. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 43 participants across three stakeholder groups: (1) non-engaged parents (parents of adolescents who were aware of the availability of a preventive parenting program and had not engaged; n = 17); (2) parenting program facilitators (n = 11); and (3) high school staff members who have referred parents to preventive parenting programs; n = 15). Participants were mostly female (86%; n = 37) and aged between 20 and 69 years. Transcriptions were analyzed using inductive and deductive methods.


The findings are presented in four themes: (1) beliefs, attitudes, and concerns of parents; (2) attitudes and behaviors of significant others; (3) preventive parenting program-related factors; and (4) possible engagement solutions.


We found that parents’ experiences of non-engagement were related to various personal, inter-personal and program-related factors. However, the increase of several key solutions, such as development of online programs, could increase non-engaged parents’ intention to enroll.

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