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Evaluation of the use of a systematic training for effective parenting program modified for low-income Puerto Rican parents of preschoolers

Nicole Y Gillette, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Research in parent training programs has shown that STEP (Dinkmeyer and McKay, 1976) can be presented in less than nine weeks, but little information exists with regard to its use with populations other than middle-class parents, and no studies have focused on presenting the program to low-income Puerto Rican parents. To test whether the STEP program (Spanish translation) would work with Puerto Ricans, twenty-four low-income Puerto Rican volunteer mothers of three and four year olds from a pre-school were randomly assigned to one control and one experimental group. Beside the "group" condition with subjects taking the training in consecutive weeks, there was, based on convenience to parents, an "individualized" condition in which subjects had individual appointments and rescheduled as needed. The modified program was taught in four sessions; the cuts involved focusing on the skills and omitting the discussions. A T-test revealed a significant improvement in experimental mothers' knowledge of the course material (T = $-$2.58, p =.033). A two-way ANCOVA showed a significant change in mothers' attitudes regarding their child behavior on an adapted APACBS (F = 4.7, p =.048) but not on the 32-item APACBS scale (F=.033, p =.85). A qualitative analysis revealed clinically significant changes of behaviors. Six of the ten experimental mothers when asked at post-test what they were doing regarding the target behavior they selected for their child focused on their own parental behavior and limitations. In contrast, control group parents focussed strictly on punishment or its absence. Some parents prefer to join large groups while others wanted the program on an individual basis. Very high interest for the program and training was expressed.

Subject Area

Preschool education|Academic guidance counseling|Education

Recommended Citation

Gillette, Nicole Y, "Evaluation of the use of a systematic training for effective parenting program modified for low-income Puerto Rican parents of preschoolers" (1989). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9011728.