Online coaching of emotion-regulation strategies for parents: Efficacy of the online rational positive parenting program and attention bias modification procedures.


Parenting programs are currently treatment of choice for behavioral disorders in children and one of their main components is reducing the negativity bias in the child-parent dyad. The Rational Positive Parenting Program (rPPP) is a program with a special focus on parent emotion-regulation functional reappraisal strategies, which has recently received consistent support for reducing child externalizing and internalizing disorders. In the last years, online interventions were proliferated and the Attention Bias Modification (ABM) becoming a promising implicit therapeutic intervention based on attention deployment emotion-regulation strategy, or adjunctive module to usual treatments, with results in multiple domains, varying from pain to self-esteem and emotional disorders (e.g., anxiety). We conducted two studies to investigate (1) the efficacy of the ABM procedures applied to parents and (2) the efficacy of the online version of the rPPP augmented with an ABM module. A total of 42 parents of children aged 2-12 years old participated in the first study, being allocated either to the ABM training or wait-list. Positive results were reported by the parents participating in the ABM group for own distress, satisfaction, positive interactions with the child, and child’s strengths. In the second study, 53 parents and their children were allocated either in the rPPP group or in the rPPP C ABM group. Results show that ABM training can boost the effects of the rPPP on the strengths of children reported by the parents after the intervention. Findings are discussed in the light of limited research on using online tools for coaching effective emotion-regulation strategies for parents.