Effects of evidence-based parent training on the adolescent mother-child relationship
Cook, Katrina L.
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Adolescent mothers have been found to be less informed about child development, view their children as more problematic, use more punitive discipline strategies, and are at increased risk of engaging in child neglect and abuse. Parent training programs designed for adolescent mothers have been effective at increasing maternal knowledge of child development and improving parenting skills; however, further empirical support is needed before widespread dissemination is appropriate. Evidence-based parent training is warranted with this population to address gaps in a methodologically sound, practical, and ecologically valid manner. The purpose of this study was to use an evidence-based parent training program (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy; PCIT) with adolescent mothers to improve the mother-child relationship, reduce abuse potential, and increase maternal knowledge. A single-subject, combined-series, multiple baseline design was used to assess the effects of PCIT with adolescent mothers. Although baseline data was gathered from six participants, only one dyad completed treatment. Simulation Modeling Analysis revealed significant differences between pre- and post-treatment in observed maternal use of positive and inappropriate parenting practices. Reliable Change Index revealed differences in mother-reported child behavior problems, self-reported maternal satisfaction, maternal involvement, maternal use of effective communication, and maternal limit setting. No significant differences were found in abuse potential or maternal knowledge of developmental milestones. Results are discussed in terms of implications and future directions are outlined.