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After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools

Research program seeks military families

ADAPT is looking for parents with school-aged children. Photo courtesy ADAPT

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After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) is a federally funded research program at the University of Minnesota seeking military families to take part in a free positive parenting program and study for families on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"It is a family resiliency program for families affected by deployments and high OPTEMPO," said Lori A. Gibbon, MA, site coordinator at JBLM. "It is the first research-based parenting program developed specifically for deployed military families with school-aged children."

The goal of the study is to see if it has a benefit to military families.

"The goal is to identify the best method of delivery to provide an effective parenting program for the busy active-duty soldier and (his or her) family. The program will be rolled out in several versions: online, workshop, one-on-one and small group.  Once the research identifies which methods of delivery are effective, we hope it will become a standard (Department of Defense) program available to all military families," Gibbon said.

Why should a military family participate?

"Soldiers and families interested in strengthening parenting skills and family relationships should participate in the ADAPT program," she explained. "This is an evidenced-based parenting program, which helps families identify values and goals, strengthen relationships, teach through encouragement, regulate emotions, have positive involvement with children, utilize family problem-solving, (use) effective discipline, manage conflict and develop a united parenting front throughout the deployment process."

Initial findings provided by the ADAPT program show benefits for military families. Participants who went through the program saw significant improvement in their parenting methods and used more effective discipline than parents who hadn't taken the ADAPT program. After one year, parents reported more confidence in their parenting and less reliance on ineffective discipline tools. The program also shows improvements in children's peer adjustment and reductions in behavior problems.

Families interested in participating in the study can apply at adapt.umn.edu.  To participate, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Currently stationed at JBLM
  • Experienced one deployment in the past five years for Regular Army
  • Experienced two deployments in the past three years for special operations
  • Have at least one child between the ages of 5-12 years

There is no charge to participate in the study, and all materials are provided.

"Eligible families can earn up to $520 in gift cards as they progress through the program," Gibbon said. "ADAPT is completely confidential and in no way associated with official military records.  Participants are assigned an ID number, so any identifying information will be associated with the data collected.  Only the research team will have access to the securely stored, de-identified records, or in the case of an audit, those in charge of ensuring the protection of human subjects in research."

For more information, call Gibbon at 612.257.1164 or e-mail lgibbon@umn.edu. Register online at ADAPT.umn.edu.

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