Category: ADHD - Child


Engaging Families Living in Urban Poverty in Behavioral Parent Training

Sunday, November 19
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Cobalt 501, Level 5, Cobalt Level

Keywords: Child | Parent Training | Diversity
Presentation Type: Symposium

Behavioral parent training (BPT) is one of the most effective interventions for addressing disruptive behavior problems in young children. However, recruiting, engaging, and retaining the most vulnerable populations (i.e., low-income, minority families) is challenging. For African Americans in particular, there are well-documented disparities in participation in ADHD treatment, which are associated with perceptions about the legitimacy of diagnosis, stigma associated with receiving mental health services, mistrust of providers, and perceived cultural incongruence of strategies with normative family processes. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and promise of transporting a novel BPT program, held in conjunction with an intensive intervention program, to an early childhood center in an urban community historically characterized by crime, violence and poverty.

Twenty-four families of preschool children (79% male; 83.3% Black or African American; 25% Hispanic; 12.5% Haitian) with externalizing behavior problems (aggression, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, noncompliance), were recruited to participate in a 7-week school readiness summer camp adapted from the Summer Treatment Program for Prekindergarteners (STP-PreK). Parents were required to attend weekly BPT sessions utilizing the School Readiness Parenting Program (SRPP; Graziano & Hart, 2016). The SRPP merges both the Community Parent Education Program (COPE) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) models by utilizing a large group format to receive initial didactic information on various skills followed by in-session coaching in subgroups. Participating parents were predominately single mothers (62.5%) with 91% living below the poverty line.

Regarding feasibility and acceptability of the parenting intervention, weekly attendance was high with 96% of families attending 6 or more sessions; 86% of parents rated improved bond/attachment with their child; 77% believed their child’s behavior problems improved as a result of utilizing the skills presented in the parenting group; and 77% felt confident in their ability to manage future behavior problems using what they learned. Measures of program promise including parent engagement and improvement in parenting practices (as measured by parent observations), iterative modifications made through parent focus groups to enhance engagement, and strategies and implications for practice in vulnerable communities, across two cohorts (N=50) will be discussed.

Randi Cheatham-Johnson

Doctoral Student
Florida International University


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Engaging Families Living in Urban Poverty in Behavioral Parent Training

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