In a first-of-its-kind program, the University of Cambridge created a home-based parenting program to help children who present with behavior issues at an early age.
The program, called Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline, was carried out by doctors at six NHS Trusts in England. It required parents and toddlers to participate in six sessions of feedback therapy. The feedback was based upon healthcare professionals videotaping the interactions parents and toddlers had with one another.
It gave suggestions about how parents could “build on positive moments when playing and engaging with their child” and what could be done when “more challenging issues arose,” according to Medical Xpress.
Study found that VIPP-SD was effective in reducing symptoms of early behavior problems in young children when delivered in a routine health service context https://t.co/a8uUiv0BBr
— JAMA Psychiatry (@JAMAPsych) March 28, 2021
Three hundred families participated in the program. To qualify, the children had to have their behavior assessed and place within the top 20 percent for behavior problems, according to the study.
During the toddler stage, it is expected that children will push back to show independence or even throw temper tantrums and have fits. This results from not being able to properly express themselves or not feeling heard, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the toddlers in the study were shown to have more aggressive tantrums or an excessive amount of rule-breaking for their age. They were then deemed to be a good candidate for the program.
According to ScienceDaily, each toddler was assessed and given a score based on:
•Frequency and severity of tantrums
•Ignoring or not abiding by rules
•Physically aggressive behavior
During the first and second assessments, the group was split into two groups. One group received “usual care” for the age group, which the study called “minimal.” This is because there is not any standard care for this age group for behavior therapy.
The second group received the same “usual care.” They also received access to the Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline program, according to the study.
A Brief Home-Based Parenting Intervention to Reduce Behavior Problems in Young Children: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial https://t.co/POMg5PHSvz
— Oxford Psychiatry (@OxPsychiatry) March 16, 2021
Those who received access to the program showed a significant decrease in behavior problems versus those who did not participate in the program.
The study further noted that 95 percent of the families who were randomly chosen to participate in the program completed it.
Because there are no current programs available for this age group when it comes to behavioral problems, researchers state that the Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline program could be used as regular therapy to provide early intervention. The earlier the intervention can occur for a child, according to the study, the better the chances are that he will not suffer from mental illness in the future and can lead a happy and successful life.
NEXT: How Premature Labor Affects A Child’s Behavioral Development
Source: JAMA Network, ScienceDaily, Medical Xpress, Mayo Clinic
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