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Group Training Improves Parenting Skills, Child Behavior

Training delivered to parents of toddlers in pediatric primary care settings

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Group training delivered to parents of toddlers in pediatric office settings improves parenting skills and reduces child disruptive behaviors, according to research published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Ellen C. Perrin, M.D., of the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned 150 parents of toddlers to either a parent-training group or a waiting-list group to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering group training in parenting practices within the pediatric primary care setting. An additional 123 parents were also assigned to receive the group training.

The researchers found that, compared with the waiting-list group, both intervention groups had improvements in parenting skills and reductions in disruptive child behaviors, as reflected by changes in self-reports and structured videotape observations recorded before, immediately after, and at 12 months after the training.

"This study supports the benefits of offering parent-training interventions in primary care settings," the authors write. "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."

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