Background: Evidence-based programmes to prevent and treat conduct problems in young children are available, but there is limited information on the extent to which they can be effectively transported to developing countries. This study used focus group discussions with parents and teachers of pre-school children to investigate whether an evidence-based programme - the Incredible Years (IY) Teacher Training Programme - could be transported to the Jamaican pre-school setting.
Methods: Ten focus group discussions were held with 50 pre-school teachers and 47 parents of pre-school children. For each focus group, a semi-structured questioning guide was used to explore parents' and teachers' perceptions of the dimensions and causes of problem behaviour in young children and strategies used to manage child behaviour. All focus group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed, and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.
Results: Parents and teachers shared similar views of what constitutes good behaviour and poor behaviour, and both parents and teachers believed that the major influences on children's behaviour are factors in the home. Many appropriate and useful strategies for managing child behaviour were used including showing children affection, spending time with children, using praise, incentives and rewards and withdrawing privileges and using timeout as consequences for misbehaviour. Some inappropriate strategies were also used, especially corporal punishment, although there was a general consensus within all groups that this is not desirable or effective.
Conclusions: Through the focus groups, it was clear that parents and teachers were familiar with many of the strategies and principles introduced through the IY Teacher Training Programme, and the programme was largely compatible with their values and beliefs. However, some topics require additional emphasis thus lengthening the time required for training. It was also evident that there is a strong perceived need for training in child behaviour management for parents.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.