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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Children First Foundation Parenting Education Program: A Study on the Effectiveness of a Divorce Parenting Education Program
by Schmittel, Megan, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2013, 42; 1551669
Abstract (Summary)

Since the 1990s the rate of divorce has consistently stayed at a high level within the United States. Almost 50% of all marriages will end in divorce (Coontz, 2006; Strow & Strow, 2006). This continued high rate of divorce has led to an increase in caseloads within the family court system. As a result, more of the court’s time and resources are being used. Courts are unable to handle the influx of cases, meaning families typically have to wait long periods of time before decisions are made about custody or visitation agreements. Therefore, families find themselves stuck in transition of divorce or separation. As a result, families find it difficult to cope with and adjust to the divorce or separation (Deutsch, 2008).

In order to alleviate some of the pressure from the court system, divorce parenting education programs have been created to inform parents about different circumstances experienced during a divorce or separation (Coates, Deutsch, Starnes, Sullivan, & Sydlik, 2004). Many of these programs aim to ease the transition for both children and adults, as well as decrease the amount of relitigation occurring within the court system. Parenting education programs are quickly becoming mandated by certain states and counties in order for final judgment to pass on a divorce or separation (Deutsch, 2008; Geasler & Blaisure, 1998).

Because courts are now mandating parenting education programs and using resources to provide such programs, it is important to ensure effectiveness of parenting education programs. Fortunately, recent program developers have started to research the effectiveness of specific programs. Additionally, new literature assesses different aspects of parenting programs to determine what pieces are necessary for an effective divorce parenting education program. Important aspects of parenting education programs to consider include content, method of delivery, and theoretical foundation. Specific content presented in parenting education programs have been found to be more effective on parenting and rate of relitigation. Additionally, certain methods for presenting the content have been found to be more effective in changing parental behaviors following divorce (Geasler & Blaisure, 1998; Kamniski, Valle, Filene, & Boyle, 2008). With the growing body of literature, courts, hopefully, will be able to determine what divorce parenting education programs are most effective to ensure resources are being spent wisely.

The current study will explore whether a newly revised parenting education program (Children First Parenting Education Program, January 2011 edition) effectively improves parental attitudes, knowledge, and likelihood. Further, the current study will explore whether the Children First Parenting Education Program January 2011 edition has a larger effect on attitudes, knowledge, and likelihood compared to the Children First Parenting Education Program, May 2006 edition. Additionally, the current study will explore whether the newly revised Children First Parenting Education Program, January 2011 edition has a larger effect on the rates of relitigation among parents who attended the program compared to participants who attended the Children First Parenting Education Program, May 2006 edition.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jewell, Jeremy
Commitee: Hupp, Stephen, Pomerantz, Andrew
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Divorce
Publication Number: 1551669
ISBN: 978-1-303-70004-0
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