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Pediatricians Add Value to Parenting Classes

Study found good results in helping moms, dads with disruptive toddlers

SUNDAY, May 15, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of toddlers exhibiting disruptive behavioral problems can benefit from short education classes held in their pediatricians' offices, according to a preliminary study.

"Pediatricians and family practitioners are in an ideal position to identify children's behavior problems early," principal investigator Dr. Ellen C. Perrin, chief of the division of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the Floating Hospital for Children, Boston, and director of the Center for Children with Special Needs, said in a prepared statement.

She noted that "parent education groups have been shown to be effective in preventing and treating disruptive behavior problems in young children. Incorporating these programs into pediatric offices will make them accessible to the parents and children who will benefit from them."

The Boston researchers offered parenting groups in one urban and one suburban pediatric practice to parents who had reported disruptive behavior in their toddlers. Twenty-one families attended the sessions and completed an assessment after they completed the classes.

Parents who attended the groups consistently reported improvements both in their children's behavior and in their own parenting responses, the study found.

"These preliminary results show that effective preventive interventions for parents of young children with behavior problems can be incorporated into pediatricians' offices," Perrin said.

The findings were presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in Washington, D.C.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about child behavior.

SOURCE: Pediatric Academic Societies, news release, May 15, 2005
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