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SIBTime: Media-enhanced Technology for Promoting the Behavioral Health and Family Relationships of Typically Developing Young Siblings

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44MD015947-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44MD015947
Amount: $1,029,677.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIMHD
Solicitation Number: PA22-177
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-07-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-01-31
Small Business Information
3800 Sports Way
Springfield, OR 97477-2019
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

Project Summary/AbstractIndividuals who have disabilities and health impairments frequently have typically developing (TD)
siblings who share high levels of involvement throughout their lifespan. Increasingly, siblings are being
recognized by parents, government, and disability service providers as the next generation of caregivers for
people with disabilities, yet the risks and stressors they experience and their needs for attentive parenting and
support are frequently overlooked. While a small number of effective programs and an emerging body of
research informs best practices to address the behavioral health needs of siblings across the lifespan, minority
and rural siblings face significant barriers to accessing these programs. Our team of researchers, developers,
and Sibling Support Project consultants propose to build and evaluate a bilingual assistive mobile app
technology for families with sibling children (ages 3-6) that delivers engaging and interactive support for TD
siblings’ social-emotional health and well-being. Age- and culturally inclusive multimedia content and
interactive behavioral skill-building features will allow families to easily access and engage in the program at
the time and place that best meets their needs. In Phase I, we developed and pilot tested an English/Spanish-
language prototype of the SIBTime mobile app/web program, with six modules on establishing parent/child
connection routines. Each 10-minute learning experience included animated stories; narrated reflection
questions; brief guided audio exercise for parents/caregivers; and graphic charts to prompt and reinforce
connection routines. Phase I pilot study results showed the modest 5-week intervention was associated with
statistically significant medium-large effects on parenting nurturance and parental adjustment with regard to
their TD child. Results also showed medium-large increases from pretest to posttest in the frequency of
parents’ engagement in and self-efficacy for targeted parenting practices with the TD child. This included
increased frequency of one-to-one involvement and of listening, talking, and helping their TD child learn about
the disability, and increased self-efficacy for these practices as well as for thinking through considerations for
parenting their TD child and providing the child positive attention and affection. Parents’ ratings of usability
and satisfaction with SIBTime were also high. In Phase II, we aim to complete development and test the full-
scale dual-language SIBTime program in an RCT evaluation with a sufficiently powered sample size (N = 160
families). The complete program will include 12 modules that address common concerns among young
siblings (3-6 years), provide age-appropriate information on high-incidence disabilities, and provide parents
with tools for healthy family functioning. In response to parent feedback, the tool’s interactivity will be
further developed, with activities that help children learn and practice language for talking about disability
and sibling concerns. We will test the efficacy of SIBtime in improving parent-child relationships, parent and
child adjustment, and parents’ engagement in and self-efficacy for the targeted parenting practices.

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

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