Program

Feb 05, 2013

Overview

The Helping Encourage Affect Regulation (HEAR) program aims to reduce aggression and behavior problems in preschool-aged children, and improve parent-child relationships.  Through its 10 steps, the HEAR program provides information to parents on child developmental capacities and strategic parenting techniques.  An experimental evaluation found that mothers who participated in the program reported significantly greater satisfaction and effectiveness in the parenting role, greater social support, increased involvement and knowledge about her child, and more effectiveness in setting limits for their child and feeling in control as a parent.   

Description

Target Population: Children aged three to six years with aggressive behavior and their parents

Helping Encourage Affect Regulation (HEAR) is a parenting program intended to reduce aggression and behavior problems in preschool-aged children by providing information and strategies to their parents.  The HEAR program focuses on four main areas in the parent-child interactional system including 1) the child’s developmental capacities, 2) the parent’s experience of being parented in her family of origin, 3) parent-child interaction, and 4) the parent’s view of self and other.  The program has 10 steps.  Each step focuses on a different developmental capacity, and strategies for parents to encourage positive behavior and development in the child.  The program guides parents through these steps using lecture-style sessions to provide information about child development capacities, group exercises (including discussions and role playing), and assigned homework using the principles of each step with their children at home.  The program is administered over 15 weeks.  The group of parents meets with facilitators once a week, for two hours.

Evaluation(s) of Program

Landy, S., & Menna, R. (2006). An evaluation of a group intervention for parents with aggressive young children; improvements in child functioning, maternal confidence, parenting knowledge and attitudes. Early Child Development and Care, 176(6), 605-620.

Evaluated population: The sample, recruited through advertisements in newspapers and magazines and through parent resource centers and daycares, consisted of 35 children and their mothers.  The average age of children was four years, six months; 80 percent were male.  The children had a mean aggression score on the Child Behavior Checklist at the 97th percentile—within the clinical range.  The mothers were overall in their thirties; 30 percent were single, and 69 percent were married or in common-law relationships.  They had an average income of less than $40,000 per year, and an educational level of less than a university degree, on average.  All mothers in the sample group spoke English.  Children with serious development delays, and mothers and children with any medical condition or physical disability, were excluded from study.  The HEAR program and all assessments of children and mothers were conducted at a children’s mental health center.

Approach: Parent participants were randomly assigned to either the HEAR group (N=20) or a waitlisted control group (N=15).  There were no differences between groups with respect to child’s age, gender, birth order, child’s functioning in communication and cognitive domains or aggression score.

Assessments with children and parent questionnaires were carried out at baseline and immediately following completion of the 15-week program. Data collected through the pre- and post-test parent questionnaires included child cognitive functioning, parent-reported child behavior, maternal confidence, parental knowledge, and parenting attitudes.

Results: Mothers in both the treatment and control groups reported less problem behavior and aggression in their children from pre- to post-test.  Compared with mothers in the control group, the mothers in the treatment group reported significantly greater satisfaction and effectiveness in the parenting role, greater social support, increased involvement and knowledge about their child, and more effectiveness in setting limits for their child and feeling in control as a parent.  There was a significant increase in post-test parenting knowledge among mothers in the intervention group compared with those in the waitlist control.

Sources for more information

References

Landy, S., & Menna, R. (2006). An evaluation of a group intervention for parents with aggressive young children; improvements in child functioning, maternal confidence, parenting knowledge and attitudes. Early Child Development and Care, 176(6), 605-620.

KEYWORDS: Children (3-11), Males and Females (Co-ed), Clinic/Provider-based, Parent or Family Component, Parent Training//Education, Parent-Child Relationship, Aggression

Program information last updated on 2/5/13

 

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