The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether a short parent-training program (PT) reduces risk factors related to development of childhood socio-emotional and behavior problems in a non-clinical community sample. Data were obtained from parents in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on PT for children aged 2 to 8 years (N=186) at pre-intervention, post-intervention and one-year-follow up. There were significant differences in the changes in the two groups, with reductions in harsh parenting and child behavior problems, an enhancement of positive parenting and of the parents' sense of competence in the intervention group. The effects on parenting and parents' satisfaction all lasted through one-year follow up. Our findings suggests that a shortened version of a well-structured parenting intervention, The Incredible Years program, implemented in primary care at community level, reduces harsh parenting and strengthens positive parenting and parents' sense of competence, as reported by the parents. Issues related to a public health approach to promote positive parenting are discussed.
© 2010 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology © 2010 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.