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Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Dec;64(1-3):191-6. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

Perceptions of inner city parents about early behavioral and violence prevention counseling.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Downtown Health Center, Milwaukee, WI 53233, USA.



(1) Identify how receptive inner city parents of young children are to routine anticipatory guidance about behavior at well child care visits. (2) Determine whether inner city parents correlate early behavior problems with a risk of later behavior problems. (3) Determine whether inner city parents believe that physician-provided anticipatory guidance about behavioral issues and violence prevention can help their child avoid future violence-related problems.


A convenience sample of parents of children < or =5 years old attending an inner city pediatric teaching clinic were invited to complete a self-administered survey including questions about behavior, parenting, and physician-provided behavior and violence counseling.


One hundred and ninety-five participants completed surveys; most were African-American (81%) mothers (92%). In response to T/F questions, 84% of parents responded "False" to "Bad behavior in kids cannot be prevented" (95% CI; 78.8, 89.1), 97% responded "False" to "[Bad behavior in kids] cannot be changed" (95% CI; 94.5, 99.3), and 67% responded "True" to "My child's doctor can help me protect my child from violence" (59.8, 73.6). A majority of parents indicated that doctors should routinely ask about behavior and discuss parenting even if the parent was not worried about their child's behavior.


Inner city parents believe that bad behavior in children can be changed and prevented. They welcome physician-provided guidance about behavior and believe physicians can help their children avoid violence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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