Evaluation of a Sesame Street Multimedia Intervention for Families Transitioning Out of the Military
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Although transitioning out of the military can be stressful for everyone in the family, the children’s experience has received minimal attention in both clinical lore and research. This study is an evaluation of Sesame Workshop’s multimedia program for families who are transitioning out of the military into civilian life; the program is aimed at improving parents’ confidence and skills in assisting their children with the transition, and at improving young children’s transition-related adjustment. Via a randomized controlled trial design, we evaluated the utilization, acceptability, and impact of this free, online program with 200 military caregivers. Caregivers who received the Sesame program reported increased self-efficacy in helping their child cope with the transition (e.g., making new friends, talking with their child about leaving the military) compared to those assigned to the control condition. Further, caregivers in the intervention condition reported fewer overall child emotional and behavioral problems and a significant reduction in levels of hyperactivity/inattention in their children. Further, the primarily online modality of the Sesame program yielded high caregiver satisfaction and utilization; this approach may warrant further research as an effective means of reaching busy military families.
KeywordsMilitary families Transitions Sesame Workshop Randomized controlled trial Online intervention
M.D.S.: designed and executed the study, collaborated in writing the paper. A.M.: collaborated with the study design and analyses; collaborated in writing the paper. J.L.M.: collaborated with the study design, analyzed the data, and wrote most of the results. A.G.: collaborated with the design and execution of the study, collaborated in writing the paper.
Funding for this evaluation was provided by Sesame Workshop, based on a grant they received from Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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