SkillFlixTM for Parents
SkillFlix™ for Parents (SkillFlix) is a skill-building online video library designed for parents of mildly cognitively-impaired youth. By modeling effective conversations, SkillFlix videos teach parents conversational skills and sexual health information that allows them to have more productive conversations with their children. SkillFlix for Parents is undergoing a formative evaluation to improve the program’s design and implementation and add to the teen pregnancy prevention evidence-base. The formative evaluation will be followed by an evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.
- Population: Parents of cognitively-impaired students (ages 10-26)
- Location(s): Kent, Ionia, and Montcalm Counties, MI
- Partners: Nine school districts in Kent, Ionia, and Montcalm Counties
- Increase parents’ knowledge about adolescent sexual health
- Teach parents conversational skills and increase their ability to have effective conversations about sexual health with their cognitively-impaired teens
- Increase the frequency of communication about sexual health between parents and their cognitively-impaired teens
Skill-building videos for parents
SkillFlix for Parents is a skill-building online video library that teaches parents how to have conversations about sexual health with their cognitively-impaired teens. SkillFlix’s videos feature actors portraying cognitively-impaired youth and their parents having conversations about sexual health. Each sixty-second video models a Micro-skill™, a small action parents can take to improve the quality of their conversations. Videos are organized by skillset; each skill contains three to five videos that teach separate Micro-skills. For example, the skill “using a conversational tone” includes videos on the Micro-skills “using relaxed and open body language” and “staying positive or neutral when surprised.”
Videos also include information on sexual health topics, including abstinence, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By watching the videos and practicing, parents learn skills that enable them to have effective conversations with their children and respond to unpredictable situations. SkillFlix for Parents is an extension of the SkillFlix training technology, originally developed for health educators by dfusion with National Institutes of Health funding.
Parallel school-based lessons for youth
All participants in the SkillFlix for Parents intervention have children receiving the Making a Difference curriculum at school. Funded by the HHS Administration on Children and Families’ Family and Youth Services Bureau and implemented by Kent Intermediate School District, this evidence-based program has been adapted for mildly cognitively-impaired students and provides them with knowledge and skills to reduce their risk of STIs and pregnancy. The SkillFlix for Parents videos align with the Making a Difference curriculum and allow parents to have conversations with their children about what they’re learning in school as they learn it. Teachers at these schools have been trained by facilitators and provide students and their families with an additional layer of support.
Stats at a Glance
- 24.2 Montcalm County teen birth rate (per 1,000 females ages 15-19) in 20171
- 21.1 Ionia County teen birth rate (per 1,000 females ages 15-19) in 20171
- 18.4 Kent County teen birth rate (per 1,000 females ages 15-19) in 20171
- 18.8 National teen birth rate (per 1,000 females ages 15-19) in 20172
- 42 SkillFlix for Parents videos available
Sharing Knowledge to Improve Results
During a focus group, parents suggested getting together as a group to watch SkillFlix videos and discuss how to talk to their cognitively-impaired children about sexual health. Parents asked the school’s special education coordinator to set up the discussion groups, which are being planned for the upcoming year.
About the TPP Program
The Office of Population Affairs Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program is a federal grant program that funds diverse organizations working to prevent teen pregnancy across the United States. OAH invests in both the implementation of evidence-based programs and the development and evaluation of new and innovative approaches to prevent teen pregnancy. The OAH TPP Program reaches adolescents age 10-19, with a focus on populations with the greatest need in order to reduce disparities in teen pregnancy and birth rates.
1 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Pregnancies by Outcome and Fertility, Abortion and Pregnancy Rates by County, Estimated Population for Females, Michigan Residents, 2017, Females Age 15 - 19. Retrieved from https://www.mdch.state.mi.us/osr/abortion/pregbycoteen.asp
2 Martin, J.A., Hamilton, B.E., Osterman, M.J., Driscoll, A.K., & Drake, M.S. (2018). Births: Final data for 2017. National Vital Statistics Report, 67(8). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_08-508.pdf - PDF