Low-Income Parents’ Perceptions of and Engagement With a Digital Behavioral Parent Training Program: A Mixed-Methods Study

Jenna Brager, Susan M. Breitenstein, Hailey Miller, Deborah Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Parent training is a method for strengthening parenting skills, reducing child behavior problems, and promoting positive parent–child relationships. However, few parents have access to these evidence-based programs. The ezParent program, a tablet-based delivery adaptation of the group-based Chicago Parent Program, is a parent training program designed to address the needs of families raising young children in urban poverty. AIMS: This study aimed to explore (a) parents’ perceptions of the benefits and barriers associated with their use of the ezParent program and (b) the ways in which the ezParent components and perceived usability varied by program use (module completion). METHOD: An explanatory mixed-methods design was used with the overall intent to use the qualitative data to help explain in greater detail the quantitative results. RESULTS: Fifty-nine parents of 2- to 5-year-old children from two pediatric primary care clinics serving predominantly low-income and racial/ethnic minority families in Chicago (Cohort 1) and Baltimore (Cohort 2) participated in follow-up interviews. Among those interviewed, 23 (38.9.5%) parents completed all six modules and 12 parents (20.3%) completed none of the modules. However, of those 12, 8 (67%) logged in to the program and completed portions of Module 1. Parents who completed more modules reported more program benefits, and those who completed fewer modules reported more barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Exploring users’ experience with current digital applications, researchers and application developers can better design future tablet-based interventions to be both effective and acceptable by consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • adolescence
  • adolescents
  • engagement
  • minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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