Family and Child Outcomes 2 Years After a Transition to Parenthood Intervention

Damon Evan Jones, Mark Ethan Feinberg, Michelle Louise Hostetler, Michael E. Roettger, Ian Paul, Deborah B. Ehrenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the impact of Family Foundations, a transition-to-parenting intervention, on parent and child outcomes 2 years after birth. Background: Couples transitioning to parenthood face many stressors and challenges that are not typically addressed through commonly available childbirth preparatory classes. The Family Foundations program was designed for couples expecting their first child and addresses family stressors related to coparenting, parenting, and mental health. Method: The recruited sample of 399 couples expecting their first child were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. Data were obtained through home observation and parent surveys before and after intervention. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses indicated effects on several targeted domains including coparenting, parenting, and relationship quality, as well as on child sleep habits and internalizing behavior problems at 2 years of age. Effects for several outcomes were larger for those couples at greater risk based on pretest-observed negative dyadic communication styles. Conclusion: Longer-term impact found here on parent and child outcomes provides new evidence of the effectiveness of this program for first-time parents. Implications: Programs directed toward broader issues related to aspects of coparenting, parenting, and mental health have the potential to have longer-term positive impact on the couples and the developing child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-286
Number of pages17
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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