Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Evaluating Incentive Strategies on Parental Engagement of the PACE Parenting Program

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This study evaluated whether various incentive strategies were associated with parental engagement in an 8-week parenting program offered through daycare centers. Parents were randomly assigned to four conditions. The conditions differed in their strategy to recruit and retain parents. The conditions were: (1) program-as-usual, (2) monetary incentive, (3) mindfulness training, and (4) monetary incentive and mindfulness. The sample included 610 parent–child dyads. Results showed no differences between conditions on intentions to enroll, but they did differ on attendance and quality of participation. Specifically, parents in the program-as-usual condition, compared to all other conditions, were more likely to attend at least a session. Parents in the monetary incentive condition were more likely to be rated as more engaged in sessions compared to parents in the program-as-usual condition. However, for participants who attended at least six sessions, results revealed that parents in the mindfulness training condition were significantly more likely to be rated as engaged compared to those in the treatment-as-usual condition. These results highlight the potential tailoring of different recruitment strategies for different stages of the engagement process and reflect the importance of operationalizing “engagement” in more than one way (e.g., attendance versus level of participation).


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Publication Title

J Child Fam Stud