Parent training: Preventing childhood behavior disorders through the use of developmental information, planned activities, and behavior modification
This study was undertaken to develop and pilot test a brief education program for parents of normal toddlers. It was hypothesized that parenting curriculum which included cognitive/developmental, behavioral and planned activities, would be superior to a curriculum without cognitive/developmental information.
This study was designed to yield: (1) the development of a practical, short-term parent training program which included behavioral techniques, planned activities, and cognitive/developmental information; (2) a comparison of parent training programs with and without cognitive/developmental information, with a control group using the outcome measures of behavioral frequency counts, Adjective Generation Technique (AGT), Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI), Subject Mastery, and Consumer Satisfaction with the program. A total of 26 subjects were included in the study.
Statistical analysis included: MANOVAs with repeated measures on all dependent variables, except Consumer Satisfaction Questionnaire which was a post-treatment measure only. The Consumer Satisfaction Questionnaire was analyzed with a MANOVA and with t-tests. The developmental group improved their perceptions of toddler's skills and abilities, increased their understanding of role differences and expectations for toddlers to fulfill their needs. The behavioral group reduced their anxiety as measured by the AGT and together with the control group reduced their belief in Corporal Punishment to modify toddler behaviors, suggesting a placebo effect. All three groups improved their Inappropriate Expectations scores suggesting a placebo effect on this subtest as well.
The study demonstrated that a brief parent education program which includes cognitive/developmental, behavioral, and planned activities information helped parents improve their perceptions of toddler's skills and sensitivity to toddler responsibility for parental happiness. Behavioral and planned activities helped parents reduce their anxiety level regarding parenting.