Parent Training

Geraldine Macdonald

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online February 2012 | | DOI:
Parent Training


Children, particularly infants and young children, depend on their primary caregivers to meet many of their developmental needs, including adequate physical care, safety, and emotional well-being. Parents, and others in a primary caring role, also play a pivotal role in the socialization of children, helping them to learn basic life skills (dressing, eating, personal hygiene) and how to relate and interact with others. Many of the skills required of parents are learned on the basis of their own experience as children, from observing others, or from secondary sources, such as books or videos/DVDs. For a variety of reasons, some parents have fewer opportunities than others to acquire the skills necessary for adequate parenting. Parent training programs are designed to address gaps in knowledge and skills that parents need for the tasks they face. Many are also designed to address some of the social circumstances that exacerbate poor parenting, such as social isolation, and group formats are common. This article identifies resources relevant to (1) the major types of parent training programs designed to help parents become effective parents, (2) the development and use of parenting programs for groups such as those who maltreat their children, and (3) the development and use of programs for those caring for children with complex needs. It explores the rationales underpinning these programs and what is known about their effectiveness. The majority of parent training programs are based mainly on the behavior management principles that derive from social learning theory. These are used as the basis for structured programs that facilitate their reliable application, usually by trained professionals, but sometimes by trained and supervised lay people. One of the key underpinning principles is that the essential skills of parenting can be learned and practiced. Many clinical interventions target parents. This article does not cover interventions such as attachment interventions that seek to improve early bonding between parents and infants.

Article.  7690 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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