The effectiveness of a combined marital - parent training program in changing parental attitudes and perceptions

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Abstract

This study investigated the hypothesis that a combined marital and parent training program would result in decreased marital distress in families which evidence both marital distress and child problem behavior and that the addition of a marital component to parent training would result in decreased parental negativity and perception of deviance compared to parent training alone. Eight families who had referred themselves to a mental health agency for aggressive behavior in a 6 to 12 year old male child, and who evidenced marital distress received both parent training alone and combined marital and parent training in a single-case multiple baseline design. Four families received parent training alone first and four received the combination training first. Repeated measures taken on a bi-weekly basis in the home provided self-report and observational data throughout the study. Analysis of variance and co-variance revealed that for wives, marital satisfaction, negativity and perception of deviance improved during the combination condition compared to the parent training alone condition. For husbands, only perception of deviance improved significantly during the combination phase. Observation measures showed overall reduction throughout both treatments in child deviance but no differences between conditions. Several conclusions were drawn relating marital distress to parental attitudes and highlighting the importance of the wife's marital satisfaction in determining family variables related to both parents' cognitions concerning the labeled child. The effectiveness of a combined marital and parent training program in changing cognitive variables was demonstrated over a one year follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-65
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioural Social Work and Abstracts
Volume2
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1982

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