Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

W. Hobart Davies

Committee Members

Jennifer J. Doering, Ray Fleming, Tiffany Kodak, Susan Lima

Keywords

Bed-Sharing, Behavioral Skills Training, Infant Sleep, Prevention, SIDS, Technology

Abstract

ABSTRACT

A TECHNOLOGY-AIDED APPROACH TO TEACHING PARENTS TO CREATE A SAFE INFANT SLEEP SPACE

by

Jillian Austin

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2017

Under the Supervision of W. Hobart Davies

Sleep-related death during infancy is the most preventable form of infant death. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published recommendations for safe infant sleep; however, parents still report frequent use of dangerous infant sleep practices. An online computer program was developed to investigate whether parents could be taught to create safe sleep environments using a computerized behavioral skills training (BST) package that includes instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Using a pre- and post-test design, the present study compared the relative effectiveness of three conditions; Instructions Only (standard of care), the computerized BST package completed once, and the computerized BST package completed until 100% mastery was observed on the post-test (BST-M). Additional pre- and post-tests assessed parents’ ability to identify sleep risks in three pictures to assess generalization of skills learned. First they provided free-responses, and then they used a checklist based on the AAP’s safe sleep guidelines. Overall, participants demonstrated significant improvements from pre- to post-test across all treatment conditions on the creation of a safe sleep environment and on the free-response identification of risks in three sleep environments. Performance did not significantly differ between the three treatment groups, suggesting various potential interventions to teach highly educated and health literate parents how to create a safe sleep environment.

Available for download on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Included in

Psychology Commons

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