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25-09-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2020 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2020

Feasibility Study of the Enhancing Parenting Skills Programme

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2020
Margiad E. Williams, Zoe Hoare, Dawn A. Owen, Judy Hutchings
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This study reports on the feasibility and initial effectiveness of an individually delivered parent programme for parents of young children with behaviour problems. Whilst parenting programmes are known to be effective in reducing behaviour problems, numerous barriers can prevent families from accessing programmes. Individually delivered parent programmes may be more accessible. In the UK, health visitors provide support to all families with a child under 5 years of age and are ideally placed to deliver interventions for child behaviour problems.


Fifty-eight parents reporting children with behaviour problems were recruited from four areas to intervention (n = 29) and treatment as usual, wait-list control (n = 29) conditions. Feasibility outcomes included recruitment, retention, programme delivery, and satisfaction. Baseline and six-month post-randomisation follow-up measures were collected in parents’ homes and included parent-report measures of child behaviour, parenting skills, and parental mental health as well as an observation of parenting behaviour during a parent-child play task.


Significant changes in child behaviour, lax parenting, and parental mental health were found for the whole sample but there were no significant differences between conditions. Recruitment and retention rates were lower than expected questioning the feasibility of delivering the parent programme as it is in existing services.


This paper provides limited evidence for the feasibility of the Enhancing Parenting Skills programme delivered in existing health services. Further feasibility work, particularly for recruitment and retention, would be needed before conducting a larger study to examine the effectiveness of the programme.

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