Parenthood is an experience that is both joyful and anxiety provoking. Amidst a number of pressures, new parents may encounter depressed feelings, consistent anxious thoughts or various other stressors. These factors can also lead to the development of poor nutritional habits, which further exacerbate psychological symptoms and can create a destructive cycle in their lifestyles. Research indicates that one’s sense of community (or conversely social isolation) can further impact parental experiences - which include one’s sense of competence, affect directed towards their children and their overall satisfaction. In considering this, a quantitative and partially qualitative pilot study was conducted to evaluate the development of a manualized program providing both nutritional and psychological support to parents in a group format. It was hypothesized that parental sense of community would increase following engagement in one session of the program, that parental stress is negatively correlated with a sense of community, and that feelings of self-reported parental depression are negatively correlated with parental sense of community. The implications for future program development are explored - particularly in considering how these results further inform development of parental manualized treatment and how understanding about providing parental psychoeducation can advance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Parents -- Nutrition -- Case studies; Community development -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ho Gavazza, Judy