An evaluation of the effectiveness of Adlerian parent study groups after four weeks and after six weeks

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Adlerian Parent Study Groups in changing parents' child rearing attitudes and behavior and their children's behavior after: l)Four, and 2)Six sessions.

The Attitude Toward the Freedom of Children--Scale II was used to measure parents' child rearing attitudes; the Child Rearing Practices Scale was used to assess parents' behavior. Two aspects of children's behavior, the percentage of behaviors which occur and the percentage of behaviors which are bothersome, were evaluated with the Children's Behavior Checklist.

It has been shown that participation in as few as four Adlerian Parent Study Group sessions produced positive changes in parents' child rearing attitudes and behavior. While there was some question, based on the statistical results of this study, as to whether these changes were maintained after six sessions, sUbjective evidence gathered from the researcher's observations of two of these parent groups suggests that the gains were maintained. It is strongly suspected that problems in the design of this experiment were responsible for the lack of statistical evidence of significant mean gains on the ATFC-II and the CRPS during Week 6.

No evidence that discussion groups effectively changed children's behavior or their parents' perceptions of that behavior were detected. Nevertheless, it is possible that these changes evolved after Week 6 the parents continued to apply the Adlerian principles learned in the group sessions to their child rearing.

If it can be demonstrated by future research that: l)Adlerian Parent Study Groups can desirably alter parents' child rearing attitudes and behavior after fewer than 10 sessions, and 2)That positive changes in the behaviors measured by the CBC occur as the parents consistently practice the method of child rearing learned in these groups, many parent educators may decide to shorten the duration of the group experience, in at least some cases. Hopefully, this would low many parents who are interested in attending Adlerian Parent Study Groups, but who cannot commit themselves to as many as 10 sessions, to avail themselves of this education. Likewise, it might encourage more people to serve as group leaders if less time were required to complete the experience. With more group leaders and fewer study group meetings, the child rearing principles found in Children: The Chall (Dreikurs & Soltz, 1964) might be disseminated to much larger numbers of people than it is now possible to reach.

parental attitudes