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The Computer-Assisted Parenting Program (CAPP): The use of a computerized behavioral parent training program as an educational tool

, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Awarded


The current study is an evaluation of the efficacy of the Computer-Assisted Parenting Program (CAPP; a.k.a. Parents and Children Together (PCT)), a behavioral parent training (BPT) program in a largely self-administered computer software format. CAPP combines programmed instruction (i.e. reading text on the computer screen and completing quizzes on which the computer gives immediate corrective feedback) with simulated interactions between the user and an animated child. Although there are many different behavioral parent training programs available, there is no known program that utilizes a software format. The study was conducted over the course of two phases. During Study I, CAPP was evaluated using a sample of 24 undergraduate students. Each student completed CAPP; knowledge of parenting concepts was compared immediately before and immediately after completing CAPP. A consumer satisfaction questionnaire was administered to all of the students immediately following treatment. Results of a repeated measures ANOVA, revealed a statistically significant increase in concept knowledge. Further, CAPP received consistently high consumer satisfaction ratings.

Study II was a comparative treatment outcome study using a nonclinical sample of 46 parents of three to five-year-old children. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: The computer group (n = 16) completed CAPP, the booklet group (n = 15) read the contents of CAPP, and the no treatment control group (n = 15). Additionally, parents in the computer and booklets groups received homework assignments and brief therapist consultation. Several variables were measured before, immediately after, and one month following the treatment: (a) knowledge of parenting skills, (b) child behavior problems, (c) parent-child relationship, and (d) parental stress. Parents in the treatment groups completed a consumer satisfaction questionnaire immediately and one month following program completion. Results suggested no significant treatment effects in regard to changes in parenting knowledge, child behavior problems, or parenting stress. In regard to parent-child relationship variables, reported levels of parental limit setting and parental involvement decreased over time in booklet and control groups. In the computer group, however, parental limit setting increased over time and levels of parental involvement were maintained over time. Parents in the computer and booklet group reported consistently high levels of consumer satisfaction with CAPP.


MacKenzie, E.P. The Computer-Assisted Parenting Program (CAPP): The use of a computerized behavioral parent training program as an educational tool. Ph.D. thesis, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved November 12, 2019 from .

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