• An ecological approach to reducing child maltreatment

      Mann, Linda Neunlist; Goldmeier, John (1991)
      This study was conducted to determine the effect of a parent training program on maltreating parents. The program was a brief intervention, based on the ecological model of child maltreatment, using both group and class sessions and was designed to provide parenting information and knowledge. The expectation was that at the end of the twelve-week program, the parents would increase in the parenting knowledge and skills, thereby increasing their parenting abilities and decreasing the likelihood that they would abuse or neglect their children. The study used three objective instruments in an attempt to measure changes in the parents' child abuse potential, levels of depression, and appraisal of social support. More than half of the subjects dropped out of the program prior to completion and a large number of the participants did not provide valid information on the three objective measures. However, in spite of these problems, the data analysis indicated that there were significant differences between the subjects' pre- and post-test scores, suggesting that participation in the parent training program had a positive benefit for a majority of the participants. The study findings indicate that, following the intervention, the parents had reduced levels of depression, reduced levels of child abuse potential, and increased appraisals of social support. In addition, there were significant differences between the participants who completed the program and those who dropped out and between the participants who provided valid information on the measures and those who provided invalid information. The study findings can be useful for social workers who are involved in planning and designing programs for maltreating parents and the findings suggest that parent training programs can be a beneficial intervention in efforts to reduce child maltreatment.
    • Neighborhood conditions, father involvement, parenting competence, and behavior problems in a sample of children at risk for neglect: A structural equation model

      Hayward, R. Anna; DePanfilis, Diane (2009)
      Internalizing and externalizing behaviors in children have been associated with continued patterns of anti-social behavior into adolescence and adulthood, including later risk for arrest (Patterson et al., 1992) and adult substance abuse (Ferdinand, Blum, & Verhulst, 2001). The primary aim of this dissertation was to broaden the understanding of neighborhood and family factors associated with child behavior problems in a sample of children residing in impoverished urban neighborhoods who were at risk for child neglect. This study used a cross sectional design to conduct secondary data analyses on 199 families who were served by the Family Connections program. The primary aim was to test a structural model explicating the relationships among neighborhood characteristics, perceived social capital, father involvement, parenting competence, and child behavior problems. Structural equation modeling (SEM) with robust maximum likelihood (MLM) estimation was used to test two structural regression models. Good model fit was obtained for both the internalizing behavior (Santorra-Bentler Scaled χ2= 57.9753 (df=30); χ2//df=1.9; RMSEA= .06; SRMR=.07; GFI=.94; NNFI=.91; CFI=.94) and externalizing behavior (Santorra-Bentler Scaled χ2= 58.8362 (df=30); χ2/df= 1.96; RMSEA= .06; SRMR=.07; GFI=.93; NNFI=.90; CFI=.93) models. Examination of path estimates revealed an indirect effect of neighborhood and social capital constructs on child behavior via parenting, but no direct effect of neighborhood or social capital on either internalizing or externalizing child behavior. Father involvement was not associated with parenting sense of competence but was related to externalizing behavior at a level that was statistically significant yet small in magnitude, and unrelated to child internalizing behavior in this analysis. The relationship between parenting competence and child behavior problems was significant for both models. This relationship was the largest in magnitude in the analysis. The combined effects of neighborhood conditions, social capital, father involvement, and parent competence for accounted for 24% (for internalizing) and 20% (for externalizing) of the variance with most of this observed effect deriving from the parenting construct.
    • The Parent University Program: Factors Predicting Change in Responsive Parenting Behaviors

      Liggett-Creel, Kyla; Barth, Richard P., 1952-; Berlin, Lisa J. (2016)
      There are few evidence-based parenting programs for children under the age of three and even fewer have been rigorously evaluated in comparison to parenting programs for older children (Barth & Liggett-Creel, 2014). Parenting programs such as Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Circle of Security, Promoting First Relationships, Chicago Parent Program, and Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up have shown positive outcomes. Common components are beginning to be identified in successful parenting programs for families with children ages birth to three years old. The Parent University Program (PUP) integrates common components of five evidence-based interventions for children birth through three years old. Parent-child dyads (N=86) participated in the parenting program with the goal of increasing responsive parenting skills. This study aims to assess the changes that may occur in responsive parenting behaviors that promote social emotional growth, cognitive growth, sensitivity to cues, and responding to the distress of their child. Results will add to parenting program research on the use of common components, real world implementation and evaluation, and the use of peers as facilitators. Participants of the PUP showed a significant increase in responsive parenting behaviors. Participants who completed pre-test, post-test, and follow-up assessments showed a significant change from clinical to non-clinical status after attending the PUP. Neither the type of facilitator nor the number of hours attended showed an association with changing parenting behaviors. The age of the child was associated with the change in responsive parenting. Older children had higher scores at pre-test and showed less change over time. The results of this research suggest that further evaluation is warranted with more rigorous study design including a randomized clinical trial.
    • Six Tips for Supporting Parents During a Pandemic

      Dyme, Bernard S. (WorldAtWork, 2020-11-18)
      A recent study by the Brookings Institution found that “the three pillars of parenting — economic stability, parental mental health and support for children’s learning — have been shaken.” There were serious breaches in the levels of parental stress and breaks in parent-child interactions. And the results were the same for two very different communities: rural Pennsylvania and the urban Chicago area. With the individual, couple and family stress from parents and kids all working at home, there are several things employers can do to help working parents balance caring for their children, homes, work, relationships, safety, health and more.