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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003 Oct;42(10):1171-8.

Brief psychoeducational parenting program: an evaluation and 1-year follow-up.

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Department of Psychiatry, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8.



Despite recognition of the need for parenting interventions to prevent childhood behavioral problems, few community programs have been evaluated. This report describes the randomized controlled evaluation of a four-session psychoeducational group for parents of preschoolers with behavior problems, delivered in community agencies.


In 1998, 222 primary caregivers, recruited through community ads, filled out questionnaires on parenting practices and child behavior. Parents were randomly assigned to immediate intervention or a wait-list control. The intervention comprised three weekly group sessions and a 1-month booster, the focus being to support effective discipline (using the video 1-2-3 Magic) and to reduce parent-child conflict.


Using an intent-to-treat analysis, repeated-measures analyses of variance indicated that the parents who received the intervention reported significantly greater improvement in parenting practices and a significantly greater reduction in child problem behavior than the control group. The gains in positive parenting behaviors were maintained at 1-year follow-up in a subset of the experimental group.


This brief intervention program may be a useful first intervention for parents of young children with behavior problems, as it seems both acceptable and reasonably effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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