Family Foundations is a series of 9 classes for first-time pregnant moms and their partners. It is based on the innovative idea that a key foundation for all family relationships, including the well-being of both children and parents, is the quality of co-parenting relations (i.e., how parents support and coordinate with each other in their parenting role).
Family Foundations has demonstrated positive impacts on a range of outcomes in five trials, including:
- better birth outcomes
- reduced postpartum depression
- reduced postpartum weight retention
- lower mother and father stress
- reduced family violence, and
- better parenting and co-parenting quality.
Infants in these families show better self-regulation, and teachers report that in first grade, the children show fewer emotional and behavioral problems and better school adjustment. Recent work has demonstrated long-term impacts 10 years after birth on parent and child well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. and international collaborators have collaborated with Mark in creating a suite of Family Foundations adaptations for high-risk groups, such as:
- teen parents,
- low-income parents,
- parents with a child diagnosed with Autism, and
- couples where a parent has a moderate level of alcohol use.
Several other versions are in the pipeline or being tested, including versions to enhance family sleep and reduce obesity risk.