Online Program

Mitigating mental health disparities in low socioeconomic children through effective parenting

Monday, November 4, 2013

Martha Okafor, PhD, MPA, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute Division of Behavioral Health, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Daniel Sarpong, PhD, RTRN - Data and Technology Coordinating Center, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Aneeqah S Ferguson, MS, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Division of Behavioral Health, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
David Satcher, MD, PhD, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
M. Okafor, D. Sarpong, A. Ferguson and D. Satcher

Low socioeconomic status is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and prevalence of diagnosable mental disorder. Though studies have examined parenting strengths among African Americans (AAs), most of the existing parenting education curricula being used by AA families are not developed with active participation of AA mothers, fathers, siblings, caregivers or grandparents. Objectives: This study assesses the effectiveness of Smart and Secured Children Parenting Curriculum, a community based participatory parenting curriculum. Methods: Delivery of the SSC curriculum and data collection was carried out by peer parents. Mixed methods were used for data collection and analysis of the effectiveness of SSC in improving parents' knowledge and skills in child development and mental health assessment based on a 14-item Adult Mental Well-Being and Depression Survey. Descriptive statistics and matched paired analytic methods were employed. Results: Findings from a one-year pilot suggest that social support of parents reduced isolation, parents were highly motivated and positively sought opportunities to improve their parenting skills in raising a smart and secure child. Emerged themes of impact of SSC were as follows. Improvements: Developing their child's physical, cognitive and emotional skills; understanding link between brain development and earlier holistic child development; being the child's first teacher; and communicating and reacting to child's problems. Areas of needed improvements: Creating positive environment; being more nurturing; and developing child's self-confidence and self-awareness. Conclusion: Effective parenting curriculum such as SSC shows great promise in mitigating mental health disparities in low socioeconomic children.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare their daily parenting activities with SSC quality parenting daily activities Demonstrate learned parenting knowledge and skills by sharing journals of small, doable and succesful changes they make in their homes Describe practical ways of parenting a smart and secure children and influencing other parents' parenting behaviors in their communities.

Keyword(s): Participatory Action Research, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the SSC program, and am the director of Division of Behavioral Health at Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. I am a PI on three NIH grant and other grants supporting many behavioral health science research and projects. Before joing Dr. Satcher at the Institute, I was the Georgia State Deputy Health Officer and have administered more than 40 public health programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.