Parent Education, Children of Incarcerated Parents, Intergenerational Transfer of Parenting Patterns
An attachment-based, psychotherapeutic parent education course was created for incarcerated mothers and fathers to improve their ability to provide positive parenting and a more stable home environment for their children. The current study assessed the effects of this parenting curriculum on parents’ tendencies to be abusive, their sense of efficacy and satisfaction as a parent, their psychological distress, and their knowledge of child development and positive child guidance strategies. Results of pre-post assessments showed a significant improvement in parents’ sense of efficacy and satisfaction in the parenting role; their knowledge, skills, and behavior as a parent; their understanding of child development; their knowledge of alternatives to using corporal punishment; establishing appropriate parent-child boundaries; and they were less likely to view their child’s independence as a threat. Females showed a significant decrease in distress symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of the critical need for effective, high-quality parent education to break the intergenerational cycle of poor parenting for this at-risk population.
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