Long-term outcomes of parent training and predictors of adolescent adjustment
Families of 66 children (83.5% of the original sample) participated in a follow-up study which investigated the long-term outcomes of parent training as an intervention for children with early-identified behavior problems. Behavioral and emotional adjustment into adolescence as well as predictors of outcome were examined. Prior to treatment, children's ages ranged from 4 to 8. Follow-up assessments were conducted 8 to 12 years later when the children were aged 12 to 19. Assessments included home interviews with the parents and teenagers separately. Results indicated that at least 75% of the teenagers adjusted typically into adolescence with minimal behavioral and emotional problems. Furthermore, parenting skills taught in the intervention had lasting effects. Important predictors of long term outcome were mothers' level of critical statements and fathers' use of praise. In addition, the level of coercion between the children and mothers during the treatment phase was a significant predictor of later teen adjustment. Factors that did not predict long term outcome were parental psychopathology and marital communication and conflict resolution skills. Results are promising and suggest that enhancing parenting skills is a useful and important key to improving conduct problems in children and maintaining those improvements to prevent further adolescent behavior problems.
- Psychology