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The interplay between parental stress and parental sense of efficacy in the reduction of harsh parenting in parenting interventions
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2294-2256
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7546-2275
2014 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Evidence-based parenting programs are effective methods of preventing problematic child behaviors and improving parents’ competencies and skills. However, there is a lack of understanding of the mechanisms that may explain how parents change when they participate in parenting programs (Sandler et al., 2011). In the current study, we aimed to address this limitation by examining the mechanisms that explain how parents’ harsh parenting practices are reduced following their participation in parent training programs. We focused on parenting stress and parental sense of competence as potential mechanisms of change (Sandler et al., 2011). We hypothesized that parents with low levels of parenting stress would display greater change in parental competence due to their participation in parent training programs, and in turn, their use of harsh parenting practices would decrease over time.  We also tested the alternative model where changes in parental stress may mediate the association between parents’ sense of competence, and in turn, changes in harsh parenting. 

We fitted parallel process growth models with 4 time points (i.e., pre-, post-test, 1-year, and 2-year follow up). The sample consisted of 635 parents who participated in four commonly used parent training programs in Sweden. Stattin et al. and Oloffsson et al. (in press) showed that all these programs demonstrated significant reductions in all parenting variables of interest in short, and long-term using a randomized controlled effectiveness trial.

First, we tested whether the participants of the parenting programs have all showed decreased parenting stress and harsh parenting, and increased parental sense of competence.  Latent growth models suggested that the parents significantly decreased in stress and harsh parenting, and increased in competence from pre-test to post-test, and relatively maintained these changes at both 1-year and 2-year follow-ups.  Then, we fitted the mediation model to test the proposed mechanisms of change (Cheong, et al., 2003).  We included child gender in all models as a covariate.  The hypothesized mediation model revealed acceptable model fit,  χ2(75)=438.03,  CFI=.91, RMSEA=0.08, SRMR=0.08. That is, parents with low levels of stress at baseline increased more in parental competence over time, and in turn, they decreased in harsh parenting practices (βind=0.51, p=.009).  The model held for all program types. In contrast, the model testing the alternative hypothesis did not reveal good fit.  Together, our findings suggested that changes in parents’ competence may explain why parents decrease in use of harsh parenting when they are involved in parent training programs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keywords [en]
parenting programs, parenting stress, harsh parenting, parental sense of competence
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44232DiVA, id: diva2:803821
Conference
The 23rd Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, Shanghai, China, July 8-12, 2014
Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Trifan, Tatiana AlinaStattin, Håkan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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