Impact of a community-delivered parenting curriculum on perceived parenting stress and parent-reported outcomes in a low-income diverse population

Type: Journal Article
Date: January 2020


Kistin, Caroline J., Touw, Sharon, Collins, Hannah, Sporn, Nora,Finnegan, Karen E.


There is a need for effective, strengths-based parenting supports for diverse parent populations. We conducted a quasi-experimental study to investigate whether a 12-week parenting program delivered in the community decreases perceived parenting stress and improves parent-reported outcomes. Method: Parents in the intervention group participated in Parenting Journey, a curriculum designed to increase resilience and support nurturing family relationships. Parents who were eligible for Parenting Journey but did not enroll were included in the concurrent comparison group. Participants completed the Parenting Stress Index and the Parenting Journey Survey at baseline and follow-up. We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to evaluate differences between groups. Results: We enrolled 244 parents, 123 in the intervention group and 121 in the comparison group. The majority of participants in the intervention and comparison groups were female, identified as Black or Latino, and reported an annual household income of less than $20,000. At baseline, intervention participants reported higher total parenting stress than comparison participants (mean percentile 70.7 vs. 55.8, p = .002). At follow-up, intervention participants’ mean total parenting stress score decreased by 14.1 points, while comparison participants’ score increased by 3.0 points (difference-in-difference p < .0001). Intervention participants were significantly more likely to demonstrate improvement in 4 or more of the 7 constructs measured by the Parenting Journey Survey (adjusted OR = 2.2, 95% CI [1.2, 4.1], p = .01). Discussion: Participation in Parenting Journey is associated with decreased perceived parenting stress and improvement in parent-reported outcomes. Future work should evaluate the longitudinal impact on parental mental health and child socioemotional development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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