Parents' subjective appraisals of a parent training program as predictors of outcome: Perceived benefits, adherence, and barriers to adherence

Date of Completion

January 2001


Education, Adult and Continuing|Psychology, Clinical




The present study identified parents' appraisals of benefits, adherence, and adherence barriers after participating in a parent training program for parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and examined the relationship between parents' appraisals and parents' discipline style and their children's behavior post parent training. Data were collected from 42 mothers and 24 fathers. Parents most frequently identified the benefits of education, teaching tools, and emotional support from the group. Parents most commonly identified the adherence barriers of lack of time, difficulty of new parenting strategies, and emotional barriers. Mothers' reported barriers related to external sources were associated with self-reported lax discipline and more negative affect during audiotaped interactions with their children. Fathers' reported external barriers were associated with self-reported overreactive and lax discipline and with less nurturance; moreover, these fathers were less likely to use positive/praise during audiotaped interactions with their children. For fathers, self-reported adherence mediated the effects of external barriers on overreactive discipline and use of praise/positive affect post parent training. Fathers' adherence did not mediate the association between perceived external barriers and use of lax discipline, suggesting that the program needs to devote more attention to this ineffective discipline style. Mothers who identified more benefits to the parent training program tended to have less negative interactions with their children before parent training. Parents who did not identify benefits tended to have more dysfunctional interactions with their children before parent training and demonstrated greater response to the parent training program. The present study provided some evidence that parents' reports of external barriers to parent training using closed-ended response items predict outcome and change in parent and child behavioral interactions; these relations were most consistently found for fathers, using self-report rather than observational data. ^