Systematic training for effective parenting effects on parental perceptions of child behavior, parental attitudes, and family functioning
Gilbert, Kathleen Rose
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This study examined the effects of STEP, Systematic Training for Effective Parenting, on parental perceptions of child behavior, parental attitudes, and family functioning. Parental perceptions of child behavior were measured by the Adlerian Parental Assessment of Child Behavior Scale (APACBS). Parental attitudes toward children were measured by the Parent-Attitude Survey (PAS). Family functioning was measured by the Behavior Inventory of Family Functioning (BIFF). All hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of significance. A pretest and a posttest were given to the experimental group, which consisted of 10 parents in nine-session STEP programs and 6 parents in a six-session STEP program, and to the control group of 14 parents. The six- and nine-session STEP groups were tested for differences and were not found to be significantly different on any of the measured variables. There was no significant difference between groups in pretest to posttest change scores on the APACBS and on the BIFF. There was a significant difference in change scores on the overall PAS and all subscales except acceptance, with the change in scores being significantly larger for the total STEP experimental group. The control and experimental groups were not significantly different on the pretest of the PAS, with the exception of the acceptance subscale on which the experimental group was significantly higher. They were significantly different on the pretests of the APACBS and the BIFF, with the control group higher on both scales. These differences still existed after controlling for ages of children and for sample collection method. The experimental group was significantly higher in posttest attitudes on the overall PAS and on the causation subscale. The control group performed at a significantly higher level than the experimental group on the posttest of the APACBS and the BIFF. The control group showed no significant pretest to posttest differences on any of the measuring instruments. The experimental group improved significantly on the APACBS and on the PAS, with the exception of the acceptance subscale. There was not a significant change on the BIFF for the experimental group. Participation in a parent education class may not be sufficient to effect short-term changes in family functioning.