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Study Finds Group Training Can Improve Parenting Skills and Child Behavior

Update Date: Nov 08, 2013 02:58 PM EST
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A group can be a very effective way to educate a large number of people. Not only can groups address a bigger population, they can offer support to people who need it. Group members can rely on one another for advice. In a new study, researchers found that training parents in a group setting could actually improve their skills and their children's behavior.

For this study, the research team composed of Ellen C. Perrin, M.D of the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA, and her colleagues recruited 150 parents of toddlers. The parents were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group was focused on training parents and the second one was the waiting list group. The researchers then assigned 123 more parents to another training group. The researchers were testing the feasibility and effectiveness of group training within a pediatric primary care setting.

When the researchers compared the two training groups to the control group, they found that the training groups helped parents improve on their skills. These parents used what they learned in the training group and reported seeing improved behaviors in their children. The self-reports were backed up with videotape observations of the children, which occurred before, immediately after and at 12 months during the training process.

"This study supports the benefits of offering parent-training interventions in primary care settings," the authors wrote according to Medical Xpress. "It demonstrates the feasibility of training pediatric staff [in particular nurses, nurse practitioners, and social workers] to co-lead parenting groups and the efficacy of parent training delivered in diverse pediatric settings."

The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics

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