Evaluation of a Multimedia Intervention for Children and Families Facing Multiple Military Deployments
Repeated military deployments have been a common experience for many military families in the past 15 years. While there has been an increase in research and intervention focused on the effects on families of military deployments, much of this work has not focused specifically on the particular needs of young children. Talk, Listen, Connect: Multiple Deployments (TLC-II MD), a multimedia kit designed for home use, is among the first interventions directed toward young children. Created by Sesame Workshop and using popular Sesame Street characters, TLC-II MD was designed to support and equip families with young children with skills to address challenges associated with multiple deployments. This study utilized a randomized experimental design to evaluate the impact of TLC-II MD relative to a control condition using a Sesame Workshop multimedia kit not tailored to military families. Parents in both groups reported that children enjoyed the video overall and watched it repeatedly. Also in both groups, caregivers’ depressive symptoms and children’s aggressive behaviors declined significantly over time. Caregivers in the test group reported significantly larger increases in comfort discussing the deployment with their child and stronger perceptions that the DVD helped children to cope. Thus, the resilience-oriented materials were helpful to both groups, but those tailored to military families were significantly more likely to be perceived as helpful. Findings offer evidence regarding the ability of multimedia self-administered interventions to assist military families.
KeywordsChildren Deployment Family Intervention Military Multimedia
This research was supported by Sesame Workshop. The findings and conclusions presented in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Sesame Workshop. The sponsor was not involved in any aspect of the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. We appreciate comments by Dr. Patricia Lester and Dr. Stephen Cozza on an earlier version of this manuscript presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science. We are grateful to the families who participated in this research.
Funding for this program evaluation was provided by the Sesame Workshop, the creator of the intervention being evaluated. The funding source had no role in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, in the writing of this manuscript, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Compliance With Ethical Standards
The Sesame Workshop, the creator of the intervention being evaluated, provided funding for this evaluation. The funding source had no role in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, in the writing of this manuscript, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. The Purdue University Institutional Review Board (IRB), approved all study procedures. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.
Conflict of interest
Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth has received additional funding from Sesame Workshop to conduct other studies and present this work at symposia. All of the other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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