Parenting Program Curbs Problem Behavior in Children

Group program launched in Seattle zeroes in on at-risk children in disadvantaged communities

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- A parenting program created at the University of Washington in Seattle that targets adults in disadvantaged communities can significantly reduce problem behavior in at-risk children, according to a Welsh study published online March 9 in BMJ.

Judy Hutchings, Ph.D., of the University of Wales in Bangor, and colleagues randomized 104 parents with at-risk preschoolers to the 12-week Webster-Stratton Incredible Years basic parenting program and 49 parents with at-risk children to a waiting list.

Problem behavior scores improved significantly within six months in children whose parents took the program, compared to those not in the program. "This community-based study showed the effectiveness of an evidence-based parenting intervention delivered with fidelity by regular Sure Start staff," the authors write. "It has influenced policy within Wales and provides lessons for England."

In a companion study, Rhiannon T. Edwards, also of the University of Wales, found the program cost-effective. "This parenting program involves modest costs and demonstrates strong clinical effect, suggesting it would represent good value for money for public spending."

Abstract -- Hutchings
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Abstract -- Edwards
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