Online Divorce Education for Separating/Divorcing Parents

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43DA024873-01
Agency Tracking Number: DA024873
Amount: $126,502.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 179985031
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (541) 488-0729
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Each year about 2 percent of currently married couples divorce in the United States (Amato and Irving, 2006). With just over half of these divorces involving minor children, more than 1 million children annually experie nce parental divorce. While most children whose parents divorce enter adulthood within normal ranges of adjustment, up to 30 percent exhibit social and psychological problems into adulthood (Amato, 2003). These problems include an increased likelihood of u sing marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes and other illicit substances (Neher and Short, 1998; Suh, Schutz, and Johanson, 1996). SAMHSA- and NIDA- supported studies have pinpointed many family-related factors that predict increased risk of substance abuse, inclu ding high parental conflict and low levels of parental involvement (Guo et al., 2002; Hawkins, Catalano, and Miller, 1992; Office of National Drug Control Policy, n.d; Robertson, David, and Rao, 2003). Thus, key targets for drug-use prevention and interven tion programs include reducing parental conflict and increasing parental involvement (Guo et al., 2002). These targets parallel factors associated with enhancing children's adjustment to divorce and goals and content of Children in the Middle (CIM), an evi dence-based program for divorcing/separating parents. The primary aim of this project is to launch and evaluate on-line English and Spanish versions of CIM, currently a group intervention. Studies on CIM Group format indicate that it is successful in reduc ing parental conflict, improving parental communication, reducing child exposure to parental conflict, reducing the rate of legal re-litigation, and facilitating non-residential parental access to children (Arbuthnot and Gordon, 1995, 1996; Arbuthnot, Kram er, and Gordon, 1997). Phase I will examine the feasibility of an inexpensive, easily accessible online program to be appealing, comprehensible, and useful to parents; to test the use of online measures to document changes in parents' knowledge of factors associated with divorce adjustment and avoidance of substance abuse; and to determine the extent to which this intervention reduces reported parental conflict, increases parental involvement, and increases parents' initiation of conversations about substan ce use with their children. To accomplish these goals parents in a rural US county will be assigned to either CIM Group or CIM Online and invited to participate in the study. By developing and launching CIM Online the long- term goal is to provide parents and professionals greater access to this program. Project Narrative: During separation and divorce, children often are exposed to increased parental conflict and decreased parental involvement, placing them at increased risk of substance abuse and social a nd psychological problems. This project will evaluate the feasibility of an online version of Children in the Middle, a skills-based intervention that has been shown to effectively reduce parental conflict and promote parental involvement with children, to address these factors for separating/divorcing parents.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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