Examining the Effects of Parent Training on Parent-Child Interactions and Child Behavior
Schnitz, Alana Griffin
The prevalence of young children with challenging behavior is increasing, which has augmented the need for effective interventions to address challenging behavior and teach social skills. Research shows group parent training programs are effective in addressing challenging behavior exhibited by young children, although programs that target both children with and without challenging behavior and that are targeted to parents’ needs warrant additional research. This purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of the Positive Solutions for Families (PSF) Intervention on parents of children enrolled in Head Start, which is based on the Pyramid Model and includes seven group parent training sessions with follow-up phone calls to support parents’ implementation of PSF strategies. The PSF intervention increased parents’ positive parenting skills by an average of .82 standard deviation units (R = .60-.99). The PSF intervention decreased children’s challenging behavior and increased their social skills by .47 and .34 standard deviation units respectively. Parental stress was not found as a significant moderator to parent implementation. Parents were satisfied with the intervention and reported they would keep using the strategies after the intervention ended. Findings from this study provide initial evidence to support the use of the PSF intervention with parents of children enrolled in Head Start and inform future research and practice related to meeting the needs of parents of children enrolled in Head Start.