Pamela Jordan, PhD, RN, University of Washington professor and nurse researcher has been studying the transition to parenthood, with particular focus on fatherhood, for the past 30 years. In the early nineties, Dr. Jordan developed the Becoming Parents Program curriculum by combining her research with research from relationship, infant, and communication scholars.

The curriculum focuses on reducing the predictable challenges of new parenthood by strengthening the couple’s resilience, promoting self-care and community support, and bringing research about infant communication and development directly to parents.


Evaluations of the Becoming Parents Program™


Devaney, Barbara and Dion, Robin (August 2010). 15-Month Impacts of Oklahoma’s Family Expectations Program. Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research

This report focuses on the Family Expectations Program in Oklahoma, the only site to utilize the Becoming Parents Program curriculum and the only site to demonstrate positive results over the control group.


Wood, R.G., McConnell, S., Moore, Q., Clarkwest, A., & Hsueh, J. (May 2010). The Building Strong Families Project: Strengthening unmarried parents’ relationships: The early impacts of Building Strong Families. Princeton, N.J.: Mathematica Policy Research (15 month post enrollment follow-up)

Of three curricula tested over eight sites nationally, only the Becoming Parents Program curriculum utilized in Oklahoma demonstrated positive differences between the intervention and control groups.


Jordan, P.J. (2002-2009). Becoming Parents Program. Grant #R01 NR04912-01A2, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health. Clinical trial of the Becoming Parents Program with 470 married couples having a first child. Principal Investigator. Data under analysis.


Supporting Research


Couple Skill Building

  • Neidig, P. H. (1986). The development and evaluation of a spouse abuse program in a military setting. Evaluation and Program Planning Journal, 9 (3), 275-280.
  • Neidig, P. H. (1989). Stop Anger and Violence Escalation (SAVE) instructor’s guide. Beaufort, SC: Behavioral Science Associates.
  • Renick, M. J., Blumberg, S. L. & Markman, H. M. (1992). The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP): An empirically based preventive intervention program for couples. Family Relations 41, 141-147.
  • Stanley, S. M., Markman, H. J., St. Peters, M., & Leber, B. D. (1995). Strengthening marriages and preventing divorce: New directions in prevention research. Family Relations, 44, 392-401.
  • Stanley, S. M., Allen, E. S., Markman, H. J., Rhoades, G., & Prentice, D. L. (2010). Decreasing divorce in U.S. Army couples: Results from a randomized controlled trial using PREP for Strong Bonds. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 9, 149-160.  DOI: 10.1080/15332691003694901


Transition to Parenthood

  • Cowan, C. P., & P. A. (1995). Interventions to ease the transition to parenthood: Why they are needed and what they can do. Family Relations, 44, 412-423.
  • Jordan, P. L. (1990). Laboring for relevance: Expectant and new fatherhood. Nursing Research, 39(1), 11-16.

Teaching Parents About Their Infants

  • Beal, J. A. (1989). The effect on father-infant interaction of demonstrating the neonatal behavioral assessment scale. Birth, 16(1), 18-22.
  • NCAST (1990). Keys to CareGiving self-instructional video series. Seattle, WA: NCAST Publications.
  • NCAST (1994). NCAST Parent/Infant interaction manual. Seattle WA: Nursing Child Assessment reduces stress of early parenting.