Every year, the University of South Florida (USF) hosts a Symposium to showcase the research of USF graduate students in all disciplines and allow them to obtain feedback from faculty and peers. Veronica Howell, a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Jaime Corvin and an MSPH Student in Health Education at the College of Public Health, focused her research on Champions’ Positive Parenting & Partnership (P3) program. She chose to focus on our P3 program because she is interested in family, marriage and criminal behavior and how that correlates with the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The graduate research team who also worked on this project include Bradlie Nabours, Lauren Kiskunes and Amanda Fitzgibbons.
The research explored our program participants’ experiences as we transitioned to a virtual service model in the wake of COVID-19. The study aimed to (1) Explore and understand participant experiences in the initial phase of the quick transition of P3’s community health programming to a virtual delivery platform and (2) Understand the benefits and challenges expressed by participants and staff regarding virtual community health programming. This qualitative research (interviews) highlights the experiences of P3 participants by giving them the ability to discuss the whole process of moving P3 classes online. Participants discussed how COVID-19 impacted them and their families, as well as how the online transition actually resulted in benefits alongside a few challenges.
The study found that there were many benefits to virtual programming, including overcoming barriers to participation like transportation. Furthermore, families felt more comfortable being able to participate from home, while others missed the in-person interactions and the ability to build a connection with other families in the group. The study also uncovered that there was an increase in program enrollment during the pandemic due to the ease of the virtual format.
We are so excited for Veronica and her team and thank her for choosing Champions as her research subject matter. Veronica spearheaded and presented the research at the Graduate Student Research Symposium and won one of ten $500 awards given for outstanding presentations, as selected by a team of faculty judges.
To learn more about the research and see direct quotes from some of our families, see the research poster below.
VHowell Graduate Research Symposium Poster