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Article 9 -Early Interventions for Parents at Risk of Child Abuse.docx

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PSYC 3690
Benjamin Gottlieb

1 Article # 9 –Early Intervention for Parents at Risk of Child Abuse and Neglect: A Preliminary Investigation (Wolf, Edwards, Manion & Koverola, 1988) Abstract -Early intervention program for young parents identified as at risk -30 mother-child dyads randomly assigned to: 1. Info group (control) 2. Special program of behavioural parent training in addition to info from child protective agency -Self and caseworker report measures -Sig. Improvement in parenting risk and child behaviour problems at post-test and 3 months for the special program group -Home observation data -Inconclusive –limited opportunity to observe -Both groups showed improvements in child-rearing environments and children’s adaptive behaviours at follow up -Caseworker ratings of client risk of maltreatment and ability to manage families after 1 year favoured special program group Strategy Mediator Outcome -Parent training in child -Increased use of social rewards (child -Fewer behavioural problems management skills receives more praise –more confidence?), -Improved child management less verbal competition and more clear demands -Activities to promote -Opportunities for child to develop skills -Improvements in children’s children’s adaptive -Mothers learned how to promote the adaptive abilities behaviour behaviour -Informational program -Increased confidence in parental role, and -Lower risk of maltreatment operated by child improved self-esteem (fewer maternal adjustment protective agency (social -Increased interest in child and own problems) activities and discussion performance -More appropriate/stimulating of topics related to -Realization they are not alone in their home environment health and family) situations -More knowledge about childcare -Increased social support Goals of Intervention 1. Early development of positive child-rearing habits through rewarding parent-child interactions 2. Improvement of parent’s abilities to cope with stress through exposure to mental health support 3. Promotion of children’s adaptive behaviours that contribute to healthy psych development -Enhance children’s ability to cope with difficult home environments -Theory: agency-based family support services would have greater impact on high-risk families if accompanied by training in child management (help develop skills to reduce conflict and increase stimulation of children) -Present Study: designed to determine an effective early intervention strategy for high risk parents 2 Target Population -Mothers under 25 with children 9 months - 5 years -Criteria: under supervision of child protective agency, major problem in parenting, mother scored w/in at-risk range on Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI), home observation confirmed need for child-rearing assistance -Intervention aims to prevent child abuse and neglect in at-risk families, and therefore prevent psych. disorders in the children Selected -Parents identified as being at risk for child maltreatment -Under supervision and receiving support from child protective agency but not abusing or neglecting children –those with indications of higher intervention priorities were excluded Primary -Intervention intended to reduce incidence (new cases) of maltreatment -Families identified as being at-risk, intervention aimed to prevent escalation to abuse/neglect Outcomes and Mediators Pretest: kids from both groups mildly delayed in physical, motor, perceptual and cognitive development Outcomes: focused on socialization factors reflecting quality of parent-child relationships and enhancement of adaptive functioning in the child -Risk in parenting role: self report measures of attitudes, beliefs and feelings about parenting (CAPI) and Beck Depression Inventory -Observations of child-rearing methods: frequency of parental praise, criticism, and negative physical contact, child compliance/noncompliance, verbal and physical deviant behaviour, quality of environment assessed in terms of social, emotional and cognitive support available to child -Child behaviour: mother’s report of gross motor, eating, fine motor, toileting, dressing, social interaction, washing/grooming, and receptive and expressive language subscales,
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