The Prevention Program for Externalizing Problem behavior (PEP) is a group training program for parents and kindergarten teachers of children aged 3–6 years at risk for externalizing behavioral problems. PEP is designed to improve child problem behavior, parenting practices, parent-child interactions, and parental quality of life. An experimental study found statistically significant positive impacts on mothers’ ratings of their children’s symptoms, mothers’ perceptions of parenting skills, and observers’ ratings of parental warmth, compared with those in the control group.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population: Parents and teachers of children aged 3–6 years with externalizing behavioral problems
The indicated Prevention Program for Externalizing Problem behavior (PEP) targets the parents and kindergarten teachers of children aged 3–6 years with externalizing behavioral problems, particularly oppositional and hyperkinetic disorders. PEP is designed to improve child problem behavior, parenting practices, parent-child interactions, and parental quality of life. PEP is administered in a group format with 10 successive weekly sessions for groups of parents and teachers. Each session lasts 90-120 minutes and there are five or six participants in each group. The sessions are held weekly in the kindergarten classrooms. The first three components of PEP focus on defining individual problem situations and imparting unspecific basic strategies to benefit caregiver-child interactions. The next three units teach key strategies of behavior modification and the last four sessions consolidate these strategies by working on common difficult parenting situations. Caregivers are trained in self-monitoring and monitoring of the child’s behavior. Training material procedures are standardized and a manual is available.
EVALUATION OF PROGRAM
Evaluated Population: Participants included the parents and teachers of 155 children at risk for negative behaviors from 54 kindergartens in the urban area of Cologne, Germany. The average age of the children was 4.2 years and roughly 72.5 percent were male.
Approach: Kindergarten classrooms were randomly assigned to receive the program (n=32 kindergartens with 91 children) or the control group (n=64 children). Those in the control group did not receive any services. Primary outcome measures were child outcomes, parenting practices, and the quality of the parent-child interaction during a standardized play situation.
Baseline data were collected prior to randomization. Families were visited in their homes by two researchers for approximately three hours each. Parents and teachers rated the children’s problem behavior before and after PEP training, and parents also reported on their parenting practices and quality of life. Standardized play situations were videotaped and rated for parent-child interactions. Data included mothers’ reports, as well as teachers’ and observers’ ratings of child and parent behavior.
Post intervention data were collected during a second home visit approximately eight weeks after program completion. The home visits included structured interviews, academic tests, and parent behavior rating scales for mothers and fathers. The parent who usually spent more time with the child was videotaped during a standardized play situation with the child. Parents were paid 25 euros per home visit and 10 euros for each set of returned rating scales.
Families and teachers attended on average 6.1 and 8.6 training sessions, respectively. There were differences in attrition between parents receiving the program (18 percent) and those in the control group (28 percent). There were no statistically significant differences between the groups at baseline.
Results: The study found statistically significant positive impacts on mothers’ ratings of their children’s symptoms (ES=0.30), mothers’ perceptions of parenting skills (ES=0.25), and observers’ ratings of parental warmth (ES=0.23), compared with those in the control group.
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Manual:Pluck, J., Wieczorrek, E., Wolff Metternich, T. and Dopfner, M. (2006). Praventionsprogramm fur Expansives Problemverhalten (PEP). Ein Manual f¨ur Eltern- und Erziehergruppen. Gottingen:Hogrefe.
Hanisch, C., Freund-Braier, I., Hautmann, C., Janen, CN., Pluck, J., Brix, G., eichelberger, I., Dopfner, M. (2010). Detecting effects of the indicated prevention programme for externalizing problems behavior (PEP) on child symptoms, parenting, and parental quality of life in a randomized controlled trial. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 38, 95-112.
KEYWORDS: Children (3-11), Kindergarten, Males and Females (Co-ed), Urban, School-based, Parent or Family Component, Parent Training/Education, Conduct/Disruptive Disorders, Parent-Child Relationship, Aggression
Program information last updated on 5/22/2015.