Project Overview +

Our long-term goal is wide-scale dissemination of a mobile application that is highly usable within the USAF context and is tailored to USAF fathers of young children. We use the term “father” in the broadest definition to include biological, adoptive, and step-fathers as well as father surrogates. The objective of this proposal is to provide a demonstration that a smartphone-based approach with a sound conceptual base and documented effectiveness can be adapted to the specific needs of USAF fathers. The rationale for this proposal is that a smartphone application, called Mobile Dad Baby Book (or Mobile Dad for short), is responsive to mobility demands faced by USAF personnel. Further, it provides a highly cost-effective method for delivering parenting support for all fathers within the USAF context whether they are active duty USAF or non-USAF personnel acting as a caregiver while their USAF spouse/ partner is deployed.

Related Media +

Related Media:

Aims +

Aim 1: Develop a highly interactive smartphone app that combines baby book features with parent education.

Aim 2: Field test Mobile Dad to refine the app's function and content.

Aim 3:
Field test Mobile Dad to determine effectiveness.

Participants +

This study recruits a representative sample of 200 USAF fathers and mothers, including active duty personnel and their spouses/partners.

Intervention +

Consenting participants are asked to create an online account and answer demographic and screening questions to determine tailored content as well as complete a parenting assessment and the Deployed Parent Engagement Scale. At the conclusion of the eight weeks of push notifications, only those participants who received Mobile Dad will complete close-ended usability and likeability questions.

Participants are randomly assigned to receive the Mobile Dad intervention (n = 100) or to a control group that does not receive Mobile Dad (n = 100). Those assigned to the intervention are provided with instructions and a link to download the Mobile Dad app. Those assigned to the control group do not receive these instructions. Both groups are prompted (either via push notification for Mobile Dad users or email for control group) to complete the post-test measures eight weeks following enrollment in the study.

Mobile Dad: A technology application to enhance father engagement

07/01/2012 - 05/08/2014


Kansas State University
United States Air Force

Principal Investigator:

Shawna J. Lee, PhD


Lawrence C. An, MD