While much is now known about the risk factors for child maltreatment, the harmful sequelae of child abuse, and, to a lesser extent, evidence-based treatment services, there have been fewer scientific contributions to guide the development of interventions aimed at community-based prevention.
This project will build upon a tailored injury prevention program (Safe N' Sound) and deliver highly relevant protective information to parents of young children to target the risk factors for abuse and neglect.
Safe N' Sound is a computer-based program developed by our team that delivers tailored information to parents of children ages 0-4 about the specific injury prevention practices they can adopt in order to make their home and car safer for their child.
Research has found that Safe N' Sound is an efficacious and effective means of delivering injury prevention messages to parents of young children and is easily adopted by clinic practices, but such an approach has never been used to prevent child maltreatment.
- Extend the scope of Safe N' Sound to address child abuse and neglect and related unintentional injury risk areas by developing and delivering culturally appropriate, health literate positive parenting messages to parents and pediatricians, specifically tailored to individual risk factors.
- Implement the enhanced program in a community setting and examine factors related to adoption, use, sustainability and impact.
Primary prevention of child maltreatment with young children requires the ability to contact the broader population. At some point, most parents of a young child seek pediatric care. If this feasibility project is successful, the research will lead to a larger randomized control trial with accompanying research on implementation in pediatric settings. Researchers in other areas like Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)may also become engaged in future research to extend application to obstetrical-gynecological settings.
Nancy Weaver, PhD
St. Louis University School of Public Health
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Terri Weaver, PhD