You are here

Integrated Smart Speaker/Mobile Application to Promote Positive Parenting Among Caregivers of Youth with Challenging Behaviors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43MH124577-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R43MH124577
Amount: $256,429.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 104
Solicitation Number: PA20-262
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-08-16
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-15
Small Business Information
Eugene, OR 97403-2536
United States
DUNS: 079250784
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (541) 484-2123
Business Contact
Phone: (541) 484-2123
Research Institution

A substantial body of evidence supports the use of behavioral parenting strategies in reducing child disruptive
behavior disorders. Empirically supported behavioral parent training protocols exist to teach parents how to
employ these effective parenting strategies, but many obstacles interfere with parentsandapos; access to these supports
and their regular use of effective parenting strategies, such as high cost of professional services and the logistics
and burdens of daily life. Smart speaker and mobile technologies enable the development and dissemination of
evidence-based parenting supports to families at lower cost and in formats that parents prefer, overcoming
barriers to engagement, expanding reach, and providing in-situ supports to parents for their implementation of
effective parenting strategies. Parents need a resource for obtaining trustworthy, scientifically valid parenting
information in a digestible format that can assist them in developing and implementing individualized behavior
plans for their children. Parents face numerous barriers to consistent implementation of even the strongest
behavior plans, including remembering to follow through, keeping track of the details, and maintaining
communication among all relevant parties (co-parents, youth). These barriers are exactly the kinds of factors
that smart speaker and mobile technologies are often able to address, providing effective in-situ support to
parents in implementing target parenting strategies. In this Phase I application, we propose to develop and
establish feasibility of an integrated smart speaker and mobile/web application, “FamilyNet”, designed to help
parents utilize best practices in behavioral parent training to create and implement personalized behavior plans
for their children. The FamilyNet system will assist families in creating the behavior plan, and then will track
compliance, timelines, incentives, and other details to assist parents in following through and maintaining the
program that they have created. An initial proof of concept prototype will be developed in the Phase I project and
pilot-tested with 35 families of youth ages 12-15 with challenging behaviors. If the Phase I project meets its
benchmarks (prototype is developed, families are able to utilize the interface and report finding it helpful), we will
develop the full product in Phase II. This fully built parenting resource will utilize the Phase I infrastructure,
incorporate feedback from Phase I participants, and add additional features such as extending the number of
target behaviors, settings (e.g. multiple households), and roles (e.g. data from teachers and feedback to
therapists). In Phase II, we will also conduct a stronger empirical test of the FamilyNet system with a fully powered
randomized trial to evaluate its effects on parenting practices and child behavior.PROJECT NARRATIVE
This project will develop and evaluate the feasibility of an integrated smart speaker and mobile/web-based
application, “FamilyNet” to assist parents in implementing empirically supported behavioral parenting strategies
to promote positive behavior change in their children. The FamilyNet system will help parents to create a
positively framed, individualized behavioral plan for their child(ren), and then provide prompts, reminders, and
tracking tools to help them effectively implement that plan. Once developed, FamilyNet will be field tested for
usability and usefulness with a group of parents who have children ages 12-15 years exhibiting challenging
behaviors. Establishing feasibility of this innovative parenting tool will have important implications for harnessing
smart speaker and mobile/web technologies to provide parents in-situ support with parenting challenges;
parentsandapos; effective implementation of empirically supported parenting strategies is likely to increase childrenandapos;s
prosocial behaviors and reduce problematic behaviors, thus reducing their risk for long-term behavioral

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government