The Effect of an Adlerian Video-Based Parent Education Program on Parent's Perception of Children's Behavior: A Study of African American Parents

By Farooq, Daa'iyah M.; Jefferson, Joseph L. et al. | Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

The Effect of an Adlerian Video-Based Parent Education Program on Parent's Perception of Children's Behavior: A Study of African American Parents


Farooq, Daa'iyah M., Jefferson, Joseph L., Fleming, Jacqueline, Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research


To determine the effectiveness of an Adlerian video-based parent education program, 40 African American parents were randomly recruited for a training program, and randomly assigned to either the training or control groups. The training group participated in six weekly sessions of discussion of a video and print materials program, while control group subjects received the written materials. Questionnaire measures of Parent Perception of Children's Behavior and Parents' Perception of Parenting Styles (Popkin, 1998) were administered before and after the training. The results showed that compared to controls: a) The training was effective in generating more positive (i.e., empathetic) perceptions of children's behavior; and b) The training was also effective in generating more authoritative parenting perceptions versus authoritarian or submissive. The promise of parent-training programs with African American parents was discussed.

The Effect of an Adlerian Video-Based Parent Education Program on Parent's Perception of Children's Behavior: A Study of African American Parents

Over the past four decades, the American family has experienced a major retreat from the pattern of early, stable, and traditional marriages (Kobrin & Waite, 1984). Risk factors, such as single parenting, alcohol and drug use, low socio-economic level, and distressed parents, increase the chances of children experiencing poor developmental outcomes (Dumka, Roosa, Michaels, & Suh, 1995; Zill, 1997). This is contrary to the belief in the family as a subculture to prepare children to function efficiently in the larger culture (Wilson,1987). Schvaneveldt and Young (1992) predicted that the many variations of the U.S. family trends, such as divorce, violence, changing attitudes, and values would contribute to the demise of the family, while Eggebeen and Lichter (1991) have shown that changes in family structure have exacerbated the apparent decline in the economic status of American children. The magnitude of these changes has caused parents to question their own knowledge about child rearing techniques (Weiss, 1995).

Wilson (1987) cautioned that the mother who is overwhelmed by family and personal problems, overly rigid and controlling or overly permissive and smothering, is apt to raise an incompetent child. Taylor and Roberts (1995) described how poverty and economic distress make it difficult for youngsters to accomplish developmental tasks. Indeed, recent estimates suggest that nearly 20% of all children in the United States have developmental, learning, or behavioral problems (Thompson, Grow, Ruma, Daly, & Burke, 1993). There has been a sharp decline in the amount of time parents spend caring for their children (Hewlett & West, 1998; Narramore & Lewis, 1992). Poverty and its associated stressors increasing the negative impact on child rearing (Celles, 1989). For example, powerassertive, harsh, and less supportive parenting behaviors are more likely to be employed in the context of economic hardship than in conditions of economic sufficiency (McLloyd, 1990). McLloyd (1990) further reported that distressed mothers' increased use of aversive, coercive discipline contributes to antisocial behavior in the child.

The need for new parenting skills has become paramount (Popkin, 1993). Thus, the call for more adult involvement in parent education programs has come about not only because parents are viewed as their child's first and most influential teacher (Owen & Mulvihill, 1994), but also because studies consistently demonstrate that stressful experiences increase psychological distress in mothers and produce changes in family and child-management (Dumka et al., 1995; Kellam & Ensminger 1977; McLloyd, 1990). Teja (1994) confirmed the importance of the family as a locus of intervention by finding that only family environment was significantly associated with children's behavior problems.

Croake and Glover (1997) defined parent education as the purposive learning activity of parents who are attempting to change their method of interaction with their children for the purpose of encouraging positive behavior in them.

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