Enhancing engagement of fathers in web-based preventive parenting programs for adolescent mental health: A discrete choice experiment

Ashlyn Hansen, Scott D. Brown, Marie B.H. Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Few fathers enrol in web-based preventive parenting programs for adolescent mental health, despite the evidence of the benefits associated with their participation. To inform the development of father-inclusive programs, this study used a discrete choice experiment (DCE) design to determine (a) the relative influence of number of sessions, program benefits, program participants, and user control over program content on fathers’ preferences for web-based preventive parenting programs; and (b) whether selected father characteristics were associated with their preferences. One hundred and seventy-one fathers completed the DCE survey, which comprised 25 choices between hypothetical programs. Programs that included the participant’s adolescent child (z = 10.06, p < 0.0001), or parenting partner (z = 7.30, p < 0.001) were preferred over those designed for fathers only. Participants also preferred program content that was recommended for them by experts (z = −4.31, p < 0.0001) and programs with fewer sessions (z = −2.94, p < 0.01). Program benefits did not predict fathers’ choice of program. Prior use of a parenting program, level of education, perceived role of parenting for adolescent mental health, and being part of a dual-working family were associated with preferences. Application of these findings may improve paternal enrolment in web-based preventive parenting programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12340
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Fathers
  • Mental health
  • Parenting
  • Prevention

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