Parenting self-efficacy, parenting stress and child behaviour before and after a parenting programme
Primary Health Care Research and Development
Aim: To explore whether changes in parenting self-efficacy after attending a parenting programme are related to changes in parenting stress and child behaviour. Background: Adverse parenting is a risk factor in the development of a range of health and behavioural problems in childhood and is predictive of poor adult outcomes. Strategies for supporting parents are recognised as an effective way to improve the health, well-being and development of children. Parenting is influenced by many factors
... ced by many factors including the behaviour and characteristics of the child, the health and psychological well-being of the parent and the contextual influences of stress and support. Parenting difficulties are a major source of stress for parents, and parenting self-efficacy has been shown to be an important buffer against parenting stress. Methods: In all, 63 parents who had a child under the age of 10 years took part in the research. Of those, 58 returned completed measures of parenting self-efficacy, parenting stress and child behaviour at the start of a parenting programme and 37 at three-month followup. Findings: Improvements in parenting self-efficacy and parenting stress were found at follow-up, but there was less evidence for improvements in child behaviour. The findings clearly suggest a relationship between parenting self-efficacy and parenting stress; parents who are feeling less efficacious experience higher levels of stress, whereas greater parenting self-efficacy is related to less stress. This study adds to the evidence that parent outcomes may be a more reliable measure of programme effectiveness than child outcomes at least in the short term.