Peer-Led Parenting Classes Benefit Parents and Children

Improvements seen in children's disruptive behavior and positive parenting practices

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Families participating in peer-led parenting classes experience improvements in children's disruptive behavior problems and parenting practices, according to a study published online March 13 in BMJ.

Crispin Day, Ph.D., of King's College London, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial involving parental caregivers seeking help with managing the problem behaviors of 116 children (aged 2 to 11 years). Families were randomly assigned to the intervention (59 families) or to a waitlist control condition (57 families). The intervention program, Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities, comprised weekly two-hour sessions for eight weeks, delivered by trained peer facilitators from the local community.

The researchers found that, compared with the waitlist group, significantly greater improvements were seen in positive parenting practices and child behavioral problems in the intervention group. There was no difference in parental stress between the groups. Based on the intensity subscale of the Eyberg child behavior inventory, an intention-to-treat analysis showed an intervention effect size of 0.38. High rates of treatment retention (91.5 percent) and user satisfaction were seen in the intervention group.

"The peer-led parenting intervention significantly reduced child behavior problems and improved parenting competencies," the authors write.

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