Brief psychoeducational parenting program: an evaluation and 1-year follow-up

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003 Oct;42(10):1171-8. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200310000-00007.


Objective: Despite recognition of the need for parenting interventions to prevent childhood behavioral problems, few community programs have been evaluated. This report describes the randomized controlled evaluation of a four-session psychoeducational group for parents of preschoolers with behavior problems, delivered in community agencies.

Method: In 1998, 222 primary caregivers, recruited through community ads, filled out questionnaires on parenting practices and child behavior. Parents were randomly assigned to immediate intervention or a wait-list control. The intervention comprised three weekly group sessions and a 1-month booster, the focus being to support effective discipline (using the video 1-2-3 Magic) and to reduce parent-child conflict.

Results: Using an intent-to-treat analysis, repeated-measures analyses of variance indicated that the parents who received the intervention reported significantly greater improvement in parenting practices and a significantly greater reduction in child problem behavior than the control group. The gains in positive parenting behaviors were maintained at 1-year follow-up in a subset of the experimental group.

Conclusions: This brief intervention program may be a useful first intervention for parents of young children with behavior problems, as it seems both acceptable and reasonably effective.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists