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Title:Preventing conduct problems, promoting social competence: A parent and teacher training partnership in Head Start
Author:Webster-Stratton, C., Reid, M. J., & Hammond, M.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30(3)

pp. 283-302
Education Level:Elementary, Early Childhood/Pre-K
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This study investigates the effectiveness of Head Start parent and teacher training on positive parenting, parent-teacher bonding, and child conduct problems at home and school over a one-year period. The training was successful in increasing positive parenting styles and parent-school bonds and in reducing harsh discipline of experiment-group mothers. Children showed significant reductions in conduct problems at school, and teachers showed improved classroom management. The follow-up of the experimental children one year later showed that 80% of the high-risk children (who exhibit risk behavior like aggression, noncompliance, or poor social skills) had moved into the low risk range. Over 300 Head Start families were assigned randomly to experimental or control groups. A monthly one-day training was provided for six months, with reinforcement from at-home or refresher meetings. Assessment consisted of home and classroom observations plus teacher and parent reports. Trained observers used the Dyadic Parent-Child Interactive Coding System├ÉRevised (Robinson and Eyberg, 1981); other measures were used to code the teacher observations. The research suggests that parent and teacher training programs can strengthen factors such as competence in parenting and childrenÕs social skills; authors propose that these interventions might also offer potential for reducing conduct problems in later years. The authors state their findings do not generalize to all Head Start parents since only half of the families participated from the focus Head Start Centers; also, despite randomization, the experimental and control groups were not equivalent in minority status. Practitioners and early care teachers who are interested in reducing childrenÕs conduct problems might look into the training model and materials used for this intervention.

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