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Research documents that parents play a critical role in the development and maintenance of behavior problems in children. Few bullying prevention programs, however, target children in early childhood or include a parenting component in spite of experts recommending that parent training in behavior management be addressed. Based upon these recommendations, the present study examines the relationship among parent characteristics (hostility, depression, and overall parenting skills) and child bullying and the effects of the American Psychological Association’s ACT Raising Safe Kids program on reducing early childhood bullying. The ACT-RSK program is a primary family violence and child physical abuse prevention program for parents of young children. Fifty-two parents/caregivers, representing children ages 4–10, completed the Brief Symptom Inventory, the ACT Parents Raising Safe Kids Scale, and Early Childhood Bullying Questionnaire (derived from the Child Behavior Checklist and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire). Twenty-five of these parents/caregivers were trained in effective parenting including nonviolent discipline, child development, anger management, social problem-solving skills, effects of violent media on children, and methods to protect children from exposure to violence through the ACT-RSK program. The remaining 27 parents/caregivers received treatment as usual. Results indicate decreased bullying in children whose parents completed the ACT-RSK program. Furthermore, of the parent characteristics assessed, parental hostility is the only significant parent predictor for child bullying. These findings suggest the efficacy of this brief intervention for preventing bullying.
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- Pilot Evaluation of the ACT Raising Safe Kids Program on Children’s Bullying Behavior
Kimberly M. Burkhart
- Springer US