Adapting Behavioral Parent Training as an Interactive Computer Game


Behavioral Parent Training (BPT) is a well-established therapy that reduces child externalized behaviors and parent stress. Although BPT was originally developed for parents of children with defiant behaviors, the program’s key concepts are relevant to parenting all children. Since parents might not fully utilize BPT due to cost and program location, we created an online game as a low-cost, easily accessible alternative or complement to BPT. We tested the game with nineteen undergraduate students at the University of Maryland. The experimental group completed pretest survey on core BPT knowledge, played the game, and completed a BPT posttest, while the control group completed a pretest and posttest survey over a three week period. Participants in the experimental group also completed a survey to indicate their satisfaction with the overall program. The experimental group demonstrated significantly higher levels of BPT knowledge than the control group and high levels of satisfaction. This suggests that an interactive, online BPT platform is an engaging and accessible way for parents to learn key concepts.