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Children of divorce coping with divorce (CoD-CoD): evaluating the efficacy of an internet-based preventative intervention for children of divorce

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An ever expanding body of research has shown that children of divorce are at increased risk for a range of maladaptive outcomes including academic failure, behavior problems, poor psychological adjustment,

An ever expanding body of research has shown that children of divorce are at increased risk for a range of maladaptive outcomes including academic failure, behavior problems, poor psychological adjustment, reduced self-concept, and reduced social competence (Amato, 2001). Furthermore, the widespread prevalence of divorce makes preventing these poor outcomes a pressing public health concern. The Children of Divorce-Coping with Divorce (CoD-CoD) program is an internet-based selective prevention that was derived from recent research identifying modifiable protective factors in children of divorce including active and avoidant coping, divorce appraisals, and coping efficacy. CoD-CoD addresses these putative mediators through careful adaptation of intervention components previously demonstrated to be effective for children from disrupted families (Pedro-Carroll & Alpert-Gillis, 1997; Stolberg & Mahler, 1994; Sandler, et al., 2003). In the CoD-CoD efficacy trial, 147 children ages 11-16 whose family had received a divorce decree within 48 months of the intervention start date served as participants. Participants were assessed in two waves in order to test the small theory of the intervention as well as the interventions effects on internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Analyses indicated that the program effectively reduced the participants total mental health problems and emotional problems as reported on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) (d = .37) and for total mental health problems this effect was stronger for children with greater baseline mental health problems (d = .46). The program also had mediated effects on both child and parent-reported total mental health problems whereby the program improved coping efficacy for children with low baseline coping efficacy which led to reduced parent-reported mental health problems. To the author's knowledge this is the first randomized controlled trail of internet-based mental health program for children or adolescents which utilizes an active control condition.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Intervention Effects on Coping and Coping Efficacy: A Fifteen-Year Follow-Up of the New Beginnings Program

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This study examined whether the New Beginnings Program (NBP), a preventive parenting intervention, led to changes in coping strategies and coping efficacy in emerging adults whose families had participated in

This study examined whether the New Beginnings Program (NBP), a preventive parenting intervention, led to changes in coping strategies and coping efficacy in emerging adults whose families had participated in the program 15 years earlier. Gender and baseline risk were examined as moderators of these relations. Participants (M = 25.6 years; 50% female) were from 240 families that had participated in an experimental trial (NBP [mother-only, mother-child] vs. literature control). Data from the pretest and 15-year follow-up were used. Multiple regression analyses revealed that pretest risk interacted with program participation in the mother-only condition of the NBP such that offspring entering the program with higher pretest risk reported significantly less avoidant coping 15 years later. There was a marginal effect of participation in the NBP on problem-focused coping; emerging adults who had participated in the NBP had marginally higher levels of problem-focused coping. There were no significant main effects nor interactive program by risk or program by gender effects on support coping or coping efficacy. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for implementation of preventive interventions and research on pathways of coping.

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  • 2019