Date of Award

9-2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth A. Harvey

Second Advisor

David H. Arnold

Third Advisor

Matthew C. Davidson

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology

Abstract

Objective:The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a parenting program designed specifically for hyperactive preschoolers. Method: Participants were 31 preschool-aged children whose parents were randomly assigned to a treatment or waitlist group. Parents who were assigned to the treatment group took part in a 14-week parenting program that involved teaching parenting strategies to manage hyperactive and disruptive behavior as well as emotion socialization strategies to increase children's emotion regulation. Results: The present study's findings were mixed. There were significant changes on a number of measures of child functioning and parent behavior for families who took part in the parenting program, but these findings were tempered by several nonsignificant findings. Compared to control families, families who participated in the parenting program evidenced significant changes in mothers' reports of child inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, observations of mothers' positive parenting and negative affect, and mothers' self-reported verbosity, punitive reactions, and minimizing/discouraging reactions. Moreover, parent training fathers reported decreases in child inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. However, treatment families did not significantly differ on mothers' ratings of child lability/negativity and internalizing behavior; audiotaped child behavior; or mothers' self-reported overreactivity, laxness, expressive encouragement, and emotion- and problem-focused reactions. Conclusions: Results provide some support for the effectiveness of the parenting program for reducing ADHD symptoms in preschool-aged children.

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