Which neural mechanisms mediate the effects of a parenting intervention program on parenting behavior: Design of a randomized controlled trial

Laura Kolijn, Saskia Euser, Bianca G. van den Bulk, Renske Huffmeijer, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) has proven effective in increasing parental sensitivity. However, the mechanisms involved are largely unknown. In a randomized controlled trial we examine parental neurocognitive factors that may mediate the intervention effects on parenting behavior. Our aims are to (1) examine whether the intervention influences parents' neural processing of children's emotional expressions and the neural precursors of response inhibition and to (2) test whether neural changes mediate intervention effects on parenting behavior. Methods: We will test 100 mothers of 4-6 year old same-sex twins. A random half of the mothers will receive the VIPP-SD Twins (i.e. VIPP-SD adapted for twin families), consisting of 5 home visits in a 3-months period; the other half will receive a dummy intervention. Neurocognitive measures are acquired approximately 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the intervention. Mothers' electroencephalographic (EEG) activity is measured while performing a stop signal task and in response to children's facial expressions. To obtain a complementary behavioral measure, mothers also perform an emotion recognition task. Parenting behavior will be assessed during parent-child interactions at pre and post intervention lab visits. Discussion: Our results will shed light on the neurocognitive factors underlying changes in parenting behavior after a parenting support program, which may benefit the development of such programs. Trial registration: Dutch Trial Register: NTR5312 ; Date registered: January 3, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalBMC Psychology
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EEG
  • Emotion
  • Inhibitory control
  • Intervention
  • Parenting

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