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Ethnic Differences in Engagement in Parent Training: Patterns of Attendance, Attitudes, and Impact on Treatment Outcomes

  • Author(s): Ho, Lorinda Yee Chia
  • Advisor(s): Lau, Anna S
  • et al.
Abstract

The dissertation aimed to examine ethnic minority parents' attendance and session engagement in Parent Training (PT) and their impact on treatment outcome. In study one, we found that African American parent participants were less likely than Non-Hispanic White parents to not attend any session, even after controlling for other baseline variables known to impact attendance. Once ethnic minority parents attended a session, however, their subsequent attendance was not found to be different from Non-Hispanic White parents'. In study two, we found that once ethnic minority parents joined a PT session, their group leaders did not rate their participation differently from Non-Hispanic White participants. Also, leader-rated participation scores at the outset of PT were found to predict later session inattendance and dropouts. Lastly, study three examined how attendance and session engagement may predict treatment outcomes of parenting practices and child behavior problems. The results showed no significant difference between ethnic minority parents' and Non-Hispanic White parents' parenting practices and child behaviors at post-treatment. In addition, results revealed that leader-rated participation at the beginning of PT predicted some of the parenting practice outcomes at post-treatment. This suggests that group leaders may be able to identify parents who are less likely to respond to treatment very early in the course of PT by evaluating their in-session participation, and that session engagement may be a better predictor of treatment outcome than attendance. These findings suggest that the main barrier for ethnic minority parents to benefit from PT appear to be at the recruitment stage, and they participate in similar ways as Non-Hispanic White parents once they successfully attended at least one session. Nonetheless, there was some evidence that leaders can still benefit from increased cultural sensitivity to ethnic minority's disengagement in PT. Clinical implications and limitations are discussed.

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