Evaluating Development Programs for Parents of 0-4 Year Olds: Impacting Parental Stress and Confidence

Anne Hill, Railton Hill

Abstract


The paper argues for particular multi-dimensional measures of the constructs ‘parental stress’ and ‘parental confidence’ as appropriate criteria for evaluation of the impact of development programming for parents of 0 – 4 year old children. Limited research has been reported concerning the impact of education based parenting interventions in alleviating parental stress and building parental confidence, consistent with the limited amount of effective evaluation reported overall in the area of parenting programming. We discuss the conceptual basis and measurement of parental stress and parental confidence, and propose a simple integrative model of parenting development. It is suggested that the constructs can be operationalized in a manner which harmonizes many extant variables and measures, taking in dimensions of ‘cognitive’, ‘affective’ and ‘conative’ domains. We further propose a broad program of research incorporating aspects of best practice, aimed at evaluation of the impact of education based parenting development programs on levels of parental stress and confidence. The paper builds both on evidence from the literature, and on a preliminary series of focus group interviews conducted with parents

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Keywords

parental stress; parental confidence; parenting development; children



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology