Comparing a cognitive-behavioral versus a humanistic parent training program for parents of young children

Kay Frances Sturm, Marquette University


Social and economic problems undermine effective parenting efforts. Ebbing parental support may lead to feelings of isolation and incompetence which may lead to child abuse. This study was designed to compare the effects of a cognitive-behavioral parent training program (STAR) with a humanistic program (STEP) on parents of young children. The sample consisted of 46 parents from an upper middle class parish. The sample was randomly divided into three groups--two treatment groups (STEP and STAR) and a control group. Eight 75 minute, parent training classes were given weekly to both the STEP and the STAR groups. All three groups were given a series of measures, which were all filled out at an eight week interval. These included: the Adjective Generation Technique, the Index of Parental Attitudes, the Parenting Inventory:Young Children and the Survey of Nine Common Childhood Behaviors. The control group was offered parent training classes at the end of the eight week interval. The treatment of these three groups resulted in a 3 x 2 repeated measures experimental design. Seven scores from the dependent variables were collected at an eight week interval for each of the 46 subjects. From this data, two 3 (groups: STEP, STAR, CONTROL) x 2 (pre-post conditions) MANOVAS were computed. The first MANOVA, which included the Adjective Generation Technique and the Index of Parental Attitudes, was significant (F(6,84) = 3.81, p =.002). Contributing to this significant MANOVA were that the STEP group's mean scores were higher than the control group's mean scores on both the Adjective Generation Technique's favorability score and the Index of Parental Attitudes. Though the second 3 x 2 MANOVA was significant, only the STEP group's discipline difference score from the Parenting Inventory:Young Children was found to be significant (p $<$.05). It is recommended that this research be replicated, with modifications, to find the most effective and cost-efficient method of improving parenting techniques.

Recommended Citation

Sturm, Kay Frances, "Comparing a cognitive-behavioral versus a humanistic parent training program for parents of young children" (1992). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9318932.