The Effects of a Prenatal Course Including Prep for Effective Family Living of Self-Esteem and Parenting Attitudes of Adolescents: A Brief Report

Article excerpt

PREP for Effective Family Living (PREP) (Dinkmeyer, McKay, Dinkmeyer, Dinkmeyer, & Carlson, 1985) is an Adlerian-based guidance program that has received little attention in the research literature (Dinkmeyer, 1993). Lineberger (1987) did examine the effects of a prenatal parent education program on adolescents' self-concepts. That study compared pregnant adolescents who attended a prenatal parent education program, pregnant adolescents who did not attend the prenatal program, and nonpregnant adolescents who did not attend the prenatal program. Lineberger (1987) found no significant difference in the self-concepts of the three groups of adolescents.

Two other studies (Meredith & Benninger, 1979; Nystul, 1982) investigated the effects of Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), a program that is similar to PREP in terms of theoretical orientation and content. Both studies showed the STEP program to promote democratic attitudes in parents.

METHOD

Instruments

The two instruments used in this study were (1) the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSEI) (Coopersmith, 1981), a multiform instrument which measures attitudes toward the self. The 58-item method form was used in this study, which provides a total self score and four subscales--general self, social self-peers, home-parents, and school-academic. The CSEI manual provided support for the test's reliability by noting that the internal consistency coefficients for the school form range from .87 to .92. Kokenes (1974, 1978) provided support for the construct validity of the subscales of the CSEI. (2) The Attitude Toward the Freedom of Children Scale (ATFCS) (Shaw & Wright, 1967) is comprised of 33 statements relating to children's rights and liberties. A low score suggests democratic parenting attitude, and a high score is associated with an authoritarian parenting attitude. Shaw & Wright (1967) provided some evidence of the reliability and validity of the ATFCS in the manual. They determined the reliability of the scale values by comparing the scale values obtained from two groups of 100 judges to have a .97 correlation coefficient. Shaw & Wright (1967) also stated that the validity of the AFTCS appears to be relatively established and acceptable for research purposes.

Participants and Procedures

The treatment group involved nine adolescent females (five were pregnant) who attended a public high school and were enrolled in a prenatal course that included the PREP program. The prenatal class met three times a week for one hour, and the PREP program met once a week for one hour for 16 weeks. The prenatal class covered a number of topics such as human reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, child development, preparing for childbirth, labor, and delivery. The PREP program addressed topics such as communication with family and friends, building self-esteem, dating relationships, choosing a life partner, and parenting skills.

Two comparison groups were utilized in the study. One group was composed of nine adolescent mothers (AM). This group had attended the prenatal course the previous academic year but did not attend the PREP program. The other group was composed of ten adolescent females who were not pregnant and did not have children (AWC). This second group did not attend either the prenatal course or PREP program.

The CSEI and ATFCS were administered to the treatment and comparison groups at the beginning and end of the 16-week period that the treatment group participants attended the PREP program. In addition, all subjects were informed that participation was voluntary, and that the participants could withdraw from the study at any time. Parental consent was required for all minors.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Two research hypotheses were addressed in the study. …