Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether primary health care settings can be used to engage and provide a preventive intervention to mothers of young children.
Methods: Two hundred and twenty-four mothers who had come to the health centers were randomly assigned to either control group (CG: n=116) or intervention group (IG: n=108). Mothers in IG were taught about the role of parenting skills in families and common mistakes in parenting in 2-h-weekly sessions for 2 successive weeks. A parenting questionnaire was distributed to mothers at pre-test and after 8 weeks from the last training session.
Results: Compared to the CG, there were significant improvements from pre- to post-test in IG on measures of Parenting Scales (PS) total scores and Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale-modified (CTSPCm) total scores. This improvement was maintained at 8-week follow up.
Conclusion: The results support previous international studies that primary health care settings can be used successfully to engage and provide preventive interventions to mothers of young children.
Practice implications: Within health centers of Iran where parents routinely bring their children for monitoring of growth or vaccinating against some disease, mothers with a child aged between 2 and 6 years received a parent training. The program gave skills for managing misbehavior and preventing child behavior problems. Mothers reported that their behaviors improved from pre-treatment to post-treatment measured at 8-week follow up. The current work may lead decision-makers to organize this program for all of the health centers to train Iranian mothers.
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