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08Dec2016

Healthy Parenting Benefits all, especially the Underserved Families

 

A new study from Oregon State University suggests that parenting education benefits families from low-income or otherwise underserved populations. According to the study, parenting education can promote the well-being and strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. 

For the study, researchers examined a sample of more than 2,300 parents who participated in a parenting series in the Pacific Northwest between 2010 and 2012. The series was initially designed to support parents of children up to 6 years. It was a 9 to 12 weeklong series and consisted of one one-hour session per week led by a parent education facilitator and there was no fee for participants.

The study to increase access to parenting education equally may remove some of the stigma attached, which has historically been associated with court orders for parents who've run afoul of child-protective laws.    

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Mostly, parenting practices can lead to beneficial outcomes in children; research indicates high levels of support and monitoring and the avoidance of cruel punishment. These beneficial outcomes include higher grades, reduced behavioural problems, better mental health and higher social competence.

The findings of the OSU research, recently published in Children and Youth Services Review, indicate that parent education series serving the underserved parents resulted in greater improvements in their skills and children's behaviours compared to series serving higher-income parents.
 
The study included Shauna Tominey, assistant professor of practice at its lead and parenting education specialist at OSU's Hallie E. Ford, Center for Healthy Children & Families, part of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
 
Parenting classes gives you an opportunity to communicate with other parents who are likely going through a lot of the same experiences as you have. Deciding to take a parenting class doesn't mean you're a bad parent but it shows you care about your family and the future of your children.

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