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J Fam Psychol. 2014 Feb;28(1):42-53. doi: 10.1037/a0035275. Epub 2013 Dec 23.

Enhancing the parent-child relationship: a Hong Kong community-based randomized controlled trial.

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School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.


Adolescence is a critical risk period for negative academic and behavioral outcomes, but a strong parent-child relationship can be a powerful protective factor. Our previous pilot of an academic-community agency collaborative randomized controlled trial (RCT) demonstrated initial evidence of benefit for a parenting intervention with preadolescents in Hong Kong. The present RCT assessed the effect of brief training in positive discipline parenting skills on parental satisfaction with the parent-child relationship. A community sample of 461 Hong Kong Chinese parents of children aged 10-13 years were randomized to (a) the Harmony@Home intervention, (b) an attention control, or (c) a third active intervention that shared the control group. Participants were followed for 12 months and multiple methods of assessment were used. Compared with the control group, the Harmony@Home group reported an increase in the primary outcome of satisfaction with the parent-child relationship at 3 months' postintervention. Although results are mixed, this study demonstrates how a culturally adaptive community intervention can improve the parental behaviors that serve as protective factors against negative academic and behavioral outcomes for Chinese adolescents.

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