Academic journal article Family Relations

Parent Training among Ethnic Minorities: Parenting Practices as Mediators of Change in Child Conduct Problems

Academic journal article Family Relations

Parent Training among Ethnic Minorities: Parenting Practices as Mediators of Change in Child Conduct Problems

Article excerpt

In this study, we examined parenting practices as mediators of changes in child conduct problems in ethnic minority families participating in Parent Management Training-Oregon Model (PMTO). The participants included 96 Somali and Pakistani immigrant mothers and their children living in Norway. The families were randomized to PMTO or a waiting-list control group. Self-report assessments were made at baseline and after the intervention using standardized measures. A path model suggested that improvements in the child conduct problems were fully mediated by a reduction in harsh maternal discipline and an increase in positive parenting. When the mediation pathways were tested separately, both the reduction in harsh discipline and the increased positive parenting functioned as mediators of the reduction in child conduct problems. These findings emphasize the importance of including components that address the parent's use of both harsh and positive parenting practices when implementing parenting training among ethnic minority families.

Key Words: child conduct problems, ethnic minority families, harsh discipline, mediation, parent training, positive parenting.

Reviews of parent training interventions recognize Parent Management Training - Oregon Model (PMTO) as a well-established approach to ameliorating child conduct problems (Brestan & Eyberg, 1998; Weisz & Kazdin, 2010). Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown positive outcomes for PMTO in the United States (Forgatch & Patterson, 2010) and Norway (Ogden & Amlund-Hagen, 2008). When it comes to research on PMTO in ethnic minority groups in the United States, there is a gap in our knowledge of how the intervention works for ethnic minority populations, although considerable work is under way. There has recently been a systematic documentation of the process adaptations and content adaptations of the intervention in Latino populations (Domenech-Rodriguez, Baumann, & Schwarte, 201 1; Domenech-Rodriguez & Wieling, 2004).

Norway is currently the only nation that has implemented PMTO nationwide, but, unfortunately, ethnic minority families are underrepresented in the samples to which it has been applied (Kjebli & Ogden, 2009; Lillehaug, 2007). The lack of knowledge makes it hard to generalize the findings to ethnic minority populations both in the United States and in Norway. This poses a challenge because it is vital to offer effective help for all families. Therefore, it was very important to test the findings of PMTO in an effectiveness trial with a sample of ethnic minority families (Bj0rknes & Manger, 2011). This study was implemented in Oslo, Norway. The implementation was conducted in areas were there were large immigrant populations. Forty-four percent of the population had an ethnic minority origin, compared to 12.2% in Norway in general (Statistics Norway, 201 1a).

A second aim of this study was to examine the underlying antecedents (i.e., mediators) of change that lead to the intervention effects. Therefore, our purpose was to investigate whether changes in parenting practices mediate the relationship between PMTO participation and changes in child conduct problems. Research into such mediators is essential to test the theory of the model and to examine the therapeutic components that produce the changes observed during the intervention (Weersing & Weisz, 2002; Weisz & Kazdin, 2010). Several studies of parent training interventions have shown that a reduction in harsh discipline and increased positive parenting mediate the positive effects of the interventions on child conduct problems (e.g., Beauchaine, Webster-Stratton, & Reid, 2005; Porgateli, Patterson, DeGarmo, & Beldavs, 2009; Gardner, Burton, & Klimes, 2006). Few studies, however, have investigated the meditating effects of parent training on the basis of data from ethnic minority samples (Ho, McCabe, Yeh, & Lau, 2010; Huey & Polo, 2008, 2010). …

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