Low-intensity topic-specific group parenting programmes: enhancing intervention outcomes

Palmer, Melanie Louise (2015) Low-intensity topic-specific group parenting programmes: enhancing intervention outcomes. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Low-intensity parenting programmes play a key role in a public health approach to parenting support and are designed to be a cost-effective intervention for child conduct problems. Several studies that have evaluated a single topic-specific Triple P–Positive Parenting Program Discussion Group, an example of a low-intensity parenting programme, have found promising results for improving child and parent outcomes among parents with young children. This thesis aimed to examine ways to enhance the intervention outcomes of low-intensity topic-specific parenting groups for parents with young children. In study one, the effects of generalisation promotion strategies, such as teaching multiple exemplars, were examined. As a single training exemplar may not be sufficient for parents to effectively generalise parenting skills, multiple exemplars may assist parents to flexibly apply skills across a range of behaviours and settings leading to greater change in child behaviour, parenting practices, and parenting self-efficacy. This study also sought to extend the literature by examining the effects of low-intensity parenting groups with parents of primary school aged children using topics relevant to this development phase and investigating outcomes for mothers and fathers separately. A two arm randomised control trial design was used to compare the two conditions (single exemplar vs. multiple exemplar). Participants were 75 mothers and 58 fathers with a 5-8 year old child displaying at least a mild level of conduct problems. They represented 78 families: 66 two-parent families and 12 single parent families. Among two-parent families, there were 55 mother-father pairs, nine mothers who participated alone, and two fathers who participated alone. The majority of the single parent families were mothers (n = 11). Self-report measures of child behaviour, parenting practices, parenting self-efficacy, parent’s perceptions of their parenting role experience, parental mental health, inter-parental conflict, partner support, and partner relationship satisfaction were completed by parents at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up. Satisfaction with each intervention condition and the individual sessions was also examined. Low-intensity topic-specific parenting groups led to improvements on a range of child and parent outcomes for both mothers and fathers of primary school aged children. Receiving multiple exemplars resulted in more robust change in mother- and father-rated child behaviour, mothers’ parenting practices, and mothers’ behavioural parenting self-efficacy at post-intervention. For mothers in the multiple exemplar condition, superior improvements in child behaviour, parenting practices, and behavioural parenting self-efficacy were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Greater improvements in mothers’ setting parenting self-efficacy, mental health, and perceptions of partner support were also found at 6-month follow-up among the multiple exemplar condition. The second study in this thesis added to the literature on low-intensity parenting programmes by exploring whether addressing parental mental health, in addition to parenting, was beneficial for parents with young children. As poor parental mental health is linked with child conduct problems, negative parenting practices, and can negatively impact the effects of parenting programmes for families, simultaneously addressing parental mental health when delivering low-intensity parenting programmes may be advantageous. A mixed-method quasi-experimental evaluation of a combined low-intensity parenting and mental health programme was conducted. Thirteen families with a 3-8 year old child took part in the study. Self-report symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress and ineffective parenting practices were obtained at pre-intervention, mid-intervention, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. Parents also completed self-report measures of child behaviour, parenting self-efficacy, parent’s perceptions of their parenting role experience, family relationships, and positive mental health at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. Post-intervention semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 parents and explored parents’ experiences of taking part in the programme, their perceived impact of the programme, and their implementation of strategies. The combined intervention produced promising changes in parenting practices and parental mental health. Parents perceived some positive impacts after attending the programme and generally the combined programme was acceptable to participating parents. Collectively, the findings from the two studies suggest that low-intensity topic-specific group parenting programmes have positive effects for young children and parents. Delivering multiple exemplars leads to added benefits and addressing parental mental health simultaneously has positive effects for families.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information:
This thesis was completed as part of a Universitas 21 Joint PhD with the University of Auckland. It is also been deposited on the University of Auckland repository.

Financial support provided by the University of Auckland Universitas 21 Joint PhD Programme Scholarship. This research was also made possible by the generous funding support provided by the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit.
Keywords: Low-intensity, parenting programmes, conduct problems
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Keown, Dr. Louise J. and Henderson, Dr. Marion M. and Sanders, Professor Matthew
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr Melanie L Palmer
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6912
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2016 13:17
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2016 13:30
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6912
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