An evaluation of systematic training in effective parenting : a pilot study

  • Margaret Norington

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The purpose of this study was to assess the immediate and
delayed effectiveness of Systematic Training for Effective
Parenting (STEP), an Adlerian-based parent study group
programme. STEP is a nine-session, multi-media package
which combines communication skills with basic Adlerian
principles. The focus of the study was the parents. The
dependent variables were: parents' perceptions of their
Target Children's behaviour; parents' knowledge of an
Adlerian approach to child-rearing; and parental perceptions
of their own behaviour and feelings.
Measurement of the dependent variables was by the use of
the following instruments: the Adlerian Parent Assessment
of Child Behavior Scale (APACBS), a 32-item interval scale
developed to assess parents' perceptions of typical child
behaviours dealt with in the STEP programme; the STEP
Questionnaire, a cognitively-based questionnaire based on
the content component of the STEP programme; and individual
interviews held with the mothers in the Experimental (STEP)
Group. The Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design was used
in the study. Both the parents in the STEP and Control
Groups were either clients or potential clients of an
Educational Clinic, or had been referred by a School
The STEP programme was run with strict adherence to materials
and format by the researcher. Measurements were taken
immediately following the completion of the programme and
again 14 weeks later.
Results indicated significant positive short- and long-term
changes in parental perceptions of their children's
behaviour as measured by APACBS after involvement in a
STEP programme. Short- and long-term changes also occurred
in the parents' knowledge of an Adlerian approach to childrearing
as measured by the STEP Questionnaire. The STEP
Group mothers reported changes in their behaviour and
feelings following participation in a STEP programme.
Some recommendations for further research are: replication
of the study with various populations; studies measuring
actual observed behaviour of the child, and the parent;
effects of STEP as a minor strand or part of an ongoing
parent education programme; the effects of varying levels
of skills of leaders; and the incorporation of video
cassette recordings of the audio tapes in the STEP kit.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Canberra

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