Background: Prior single-site evaluations of Child Adult Relationship Enhancement in Primary Care (PriCARE), a 6-session group parent training, demonstrated reductions in child behavioral problems and improvements in positive parenting attitudes.
Objective: To measure the impact of PriCARE on disruptive child behaviors, parenting stress, and parenting attitudes in a multisite study.
Methods: Caregivers of children 2- to 6-year-old with behavior concerns recruited from 4 pediatric primary care practices were randomized 2:1 to PriCARE intervention (n = 119) or waitlist control (n = 55). Seventy-nine percent of caregivers identified as Black and 59% had annual household incomes under $22,000. Child behavior, parenting stress, and parenting attitudes were measured at baseline and 2 to 3 months after intervention using the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, Parenting Stress Index, and Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory-2. Marginal standardization implemented in a linear regression compared mean change scores from baseline to follow-up by treatment arm while accounting for clustering by site.
Results: Mean change scores from baseline to follow-up demonstrated greater improvements (decreases) in Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory problem scores but not intensity scores in the PriCARE arm compared to control, (problem: -4.4 [-7.5, -1.2] vs -1.8 [-4.1, 0.4], P= .004; intensity: -17.6 [-28.3, -6.9] vs -10.4 [-18.1, -2.6], P= .255). Decreases in parenting stress were greater in the PriCARE arm compared to control (-3.3 [-4.3, -2.3] vs 0 [-2.5, 2.5], P= .025). Parenting attitudes showed no significant changes (all P> .10).
Conclusions: PriCARE showed promise in improving parental perceptions of the severity of child behaviors and decreasing parenting stress but did not have an observed impact on parenting attitudes.
Keywords: behavioral problems; corporal punishment; parent training; primary care.
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