- This study was an evaluation of a prototypic intervention designed to help married couples to consider systematically the question of parenthood. The intervention, entitled "Parenting: To be or not to be," is a structured educational program. The underlying conceptual framework of the program is a human and family development model for intervention design. Two alternative versions of the intervention, a highly structured program and a less highly structured program, were compared with a control group. The programs were led by nonprofessional volunteer leaders. This study evaluated the impact of the intervention on 64 participants. Formative issues of program process were assessed and summative issues of the intended program outcome were evaluated.
The results of the data analysis suggest that the participants in the experimental programs increased their awareness of factors influencing the decision whether to become a parent or to remain childfree, potential changes in their marital relationship regarding this decision, their reasons for both wanting to have children and wanting to remain childfree, their closeness to deciding whether to have children, their understanding of their spouse's reasons for both wanting to become a parent and wanting to remain childfree, their frequency of discussion about important issues concerning this decision, and their dyadic adjustment. In addition, participant and leader reactions to the program were very favorable. There were few differences between the highly structured program and the less highly structured program. The findings also suggest that nonprofessional volunteer leaders were competent leaders of this structured educational program.
The participants in the experimental programs reacted very positively to the intervention. They reported that they increased their understanding of a series of issues judged critical to systematic decision making regarding the question of parenthood and increased their closeness to deciding whether to have children. These findings suggest that the major goals of "Parenting: To be or not to be" had been attained. It is anticipated that participation in either version of "Parenting: To be or not to be" will help couples to consider the critical life event in family development identified as the transition to parenthood.
- Dissertation Note:
- Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University 1981.
- Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-01, Section: A, page: 1400.
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