The effectiveness of an education program for parents of young children

Patricia Carol Janz, Marquette University


Many problematic behavior patterns in children may be present as early as two or three years of age. These behaviors tend to remain stable as strong predictors of later behavioral difficulties. Since most previously developed parent training programs were intended for use with school age children, it is likely that the needs of a large segment of the population are not being met. This study evaluated the effectiveness of STAR Parenting, a group education program for parents of young children, ages 1 to 5 years. STAR is a multidisciplinary model, combining elements found in the humanistic, communication, and behavioral models of parenting programs. The program consisted of four sessions, each two and one-half hours long. To provide incentive for participation in STAR, there was no charge for the classes or materials. Each family received a STAR Parenting kit containing four audio tapes, used at home to elaborate on the material presented in class, a parent workbook, and a colorful mnemonic reminder card (Stop, Think, Ask, Respond). Each class consisted of a review of homework, presentation of new concepts, practical examples and in-class exercises. Opportunities for questions and sharing of experiences were provided. Handouts and overheads were also used in the structured class presentations. Parents in the experimental group (n = 20) participated in the 10-hour STAR program and completed pretest, posttest, and follow-up measures. The wait list/control group (n = 20) completed pretest and posttest measures. Two primary measures, the Parent Behavior Checklist (PBC) and the Adjective Generation Technique (AGT), modified version, and four secondary measures of perceptions of parent behaviors, developed specifically for this study, were used. The data showed the STAR Program to significantly reduce the frequency of disciplinary strategies which are associated with verbal and physical punishment. The STAR Parenting Program may provide a constructive approach for parents who use ineffective methods in interactions with their toddler and preschool children. This study contributes to the small body of literature which supports the effectiveness of STAR as a parent training model.

Recommended Citation

Janz, Patricia Carol, "The effectiveness of an education program for parents of young children" (1996). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9719084.