The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Couple-Focused Prevention at the Transition to Parenthood

Mark Feinberg headshot

Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series—This presentation will focus on the role of the transition to parenthood itself as a stressor.

Transition points in family life, such as parenthood, divorce or death, may be accompanied by stress which places parenting quality at risk. A great deal of research has examined the role of the transition to parenthood itself as a stressor. This transition is associated with role strain, depression, relationship problems—all of which may be associated with sub-optimal parenting during the crucial early months and years of parenting. A universal transition to parenthood program for couples, Family Foundations, has demonstrated broad positive impact in two trials. This presentation will present the theoretical underpinnings of the program, the results of the universal program, and description of the adaptations of Family Foundations for high-risk couples receiving home-visiting services and low-income, inner-city teen parents.

Mark Feinberg, Ph.D., conducts basic and applied research on youth, families, and communities, with a particular focus on family dynamics and family-focused prevention.  He has developed and tested several prevention programs, including Family Foundations (FF), a transition-to-parenthood program designed to enhance coparenting among first-time parents. FF has been shown to reduce adverse birth outcomes, postpartum depression, couple and parent-child physical aggression, and child internalizing and externalizing problems. Dr. Feinberg has also co-developed prevention programs addressing sibling relationship conflict, adverse birth outcomes, and childhood obesity, and has been involved in the long-term evaluation of large-scale community prevention systems, including Communities That Care, PROSPER, and Evidence2Success. He has also written about and examined the community epidemiology of adolescent problem behaviors, i.e., the ways in which risk factors are linked to behavior problems within and between communities.

This lecture is sponsored by the Center for Research on Families’ Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. The Center for Research on Families (CRF) is an endowed interdisciplinary research center in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series brings internationally recognized speakers with expertise in family research to campus each year. The lecture series began in 1999 through an endowment established in memory of Tay Gavin Erickson. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 4:00pm
Campus Center, Room 163C, UMass Amherst
Free and open to the public

Mark Feinberg, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Prevention Research Center
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
The Pennsylvania State University