Parent Training and Skill Acquisition and Utilization Among Spanish- and English-Speaking Latino Families

J Child Fam Stud. 2018 Jan;27(1):268-279. doi: 10.1007/s10826-017-0881-7. Epub 2017 Oct 17.


In the U.S., there is a growing Latino population, in which parents primarily speak Spanish to their children. Despite the evidence that language preference is associated with level of acculturation and influences parenting practices in these families, no study has compared how Spanish-and English-speaking Latino families acquire and utilize the skills taught during parent-training programs such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Twenty-seven mother-infant Latino dyads received a home-based adaptation of the Child-Directed Interaction (CDI) phase of PCIT as part of a larger randomized control trial. Most infants were male (63%), and their average age was 13.7 months (SD = 1.43). Most families (52%) lived below the poverty line. The Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System-Third Edition (DPICS-III) was employed to evaluate PCIT skills at baseline and post-treatment, as well as at 3- and 6-month follow-up, assessments. We conducted multiple linear regression analyses among Spanish-speaking (55%) and English-speaking (45%) families to examine differences in acquisition and utilization of do and don't skills at each assessment while controlling for mother's education. Results yielded no group differences in the acquisition rate of do or don't skills at any time point. However, Spanish-speaking mothers used significantly more don't skills than English-speaking mothers at each assessment. Specifically, Spanish-speaking families used significantly more commands at baseline, post-treatment, and the 6-month followup assessments, as well as more questions at post-treatment and at the 6-month follow-up assessments. These findings highlight the importance of addressing cultural values such as respeto to ensure culturally robust parent-training programs for Latino families.

Keywords: Cultural adaptation; Latino; Mastery criteria; PCIT; Parent training.