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Parental Education

Finally, behavioral scientists have made efforts to determine whether parenting is modifiable through parental education. Many different programs for parent education exist, with varying success rates in the short and long term. The success of a program can be measured according to changed parenting or improvement in child adjustment. In general, more training has been shown to lead to better outcomes. Parent education programs commonly focus on positive forms of discipline, information about children's developmental stages, activities to enhance children's cognitive skills, and the importance of warmth combined with consistent rules. Longitudinal data from "welfare to work" studies indicate that parental education programs need to include a minimum of biweekly home visits and last over two years to be effective in terms of changed parental behavior. Such programs are prohibitively expensive. Thus, a high-quality parent education program can change the parenting of poorly educated, young, poor mothers, but these improvements are not necessarily related to better cognitive and social development for children. This may be because parenting is just one of the challenges disadvantaged families face. For instance, better parenting may not be able to completely eclipse environmental threats, such as poverty or domestic violence.


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Abigail Tuttle O'Keeffe



Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 6Parenting - Who Is Socializing U.s. Children?, Qualitative Aspects Of Parenting, Parenting Style, Parent-child Interaction - Quantitative Aspects of Parenting