This section features practices that have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous research. These practices have been reviewed by a team of experts and summarized in a way that is easy to understand.
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Connect (Moretti, Holland, Moore, & McKay, 2004) is a manual-based education programme for parents and alternate caregivers of pre-teens (ages 8 – 12) and teens (ages 13 – 17) with mental health issues and significant behaviour problems. Connect aims to improve caregivers’ ability to interpret the unique meaning of problematic and disruptive behaviours, within the context of the parent-child relationship.
The programme consists of small group sessions of 10 to 16 participants and two trained group leaders, which meet for 60 to 90 minutes each week for 10 weeks. During each session, participants watch role-plays, discuss strategies for responding to challenging behaviour, and complete exercises that help them develop alternatives for responding to difficult behaviour. These alternatives allow parents to set limits, while maintaining a healthy relationship with their teens. Parents receive handouts with key points that can be applied to their own parent-child relationships at the end of each session.
Connect has been implemented in over 40 communities in British Columbia and throughout other communities in Canada and Sweden. The Connect Parent Group manual has been translated into Swedish and a French manual will be released in the near future. Information about the programme and trainings is available on the programme website: http://connectparentgroup.org/. Trainings are available in Canada.
The Community Parent Education Program (COPE; Cunningham, 2005) is a manual-based education programme for parents of children with externalizing behaviour problems with a background of different diagnoses such as hyperactivity, inattention, and/or conduct problems. COPE aims to help parents develop skills that will enable them to deal in a positive way with difficult behaviours and to improve their communications and relationships with their children. The programme consists of group sessions of 15 to 25 parents. There are ten sessions, which occur weekly and are one hour long. COPE leaders use readings, videotapes, demonstrations, homework projects, small group exercises, and large group exercises to help parents develop problem solving skills and parental confidence. At each session, leaders teach a new strategy (e.g., strategies for ignoring minor disruptions, giving attention to positive behaviour, reward systems, planning ahead, managing transitions, and balancing time and attention between siblings). COPE is designed to be conducted in schools, recreation centres, other community locations and psychiatric clinics for children and adolescents. Because the programme can be organized within the community rather than in a psychiatric clinic, also economically disadvantaged families and families with children who have more severe behavioural problems are more likely to be supported beyond what parents and children can already obtain in the normal health care system (Cunningham, Bremnar, and Boyle 1995). In addition, the community based application of COPE has according to Cunningham et al (1995) a better cost-effectiveness ratio.
The school-based alcohol education was designed to change knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward underage alcohol use and abuse in middle school students. The programme was implemented in seventh grade classes of students between 12 and 15 years old at 16 secondary schools near Hamburg in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany in 2006. The programme consisted of four interactive class lessons, a booklet for students and a booklet for parents. Teachers participated in a three hour training session about the content of the intervention and the intended delivery structure. Over a three month period, teachers were to distribute a booklet containing information about alcohol and consequences of alcohol use including violence, dependence, medical and economic effects to students and a booklet containing general information about alcohol, interactions with children and behaving as role models to the students’ parents. Over the same period, teachers were to teach four class lessons, on the following subjects: legal requirements, advertisement, dealing with peer pressure, and acceptable contexts for alcohol.
Last updated: March 2014
Talk About Alcohol is an intervention developed in the UK for helping children age 11-18 make informed decisions about alcohol. It carries the same name as a pilot website developed in 2005 by the European Association of Communication Agencies (EACA) with the European Forum for Responsible Drinking), which was based on a programme originally developed in Sweden, however the UK Talk About Alcohol programme, developed by The Alcohol Education trust Charity is fundamentally different from the European initiative. The programme is inspired by SHARHP (Australia) and EUDAP Unplugged (EU), social norms approaches and life skills education. Talk About Alcohol is provided through schools in the United Kingdom by the Alcohol Education Trust, who support teachers, students, and their parents with resources on line and in print. The programme gives teachers materials and tools designed to encourage students to make informed decisions and rehearse strategies for challenging situations regarding alcohol use, while delaying the age of first drinking, encouraging responsible drinking behaviours, and reducing the acceptability of drinking to get drunk. The school lessons focus on alcohol health knowledge, developing self-esteem and life skills, and learning to resist peer pressure by using example scenarios, games and role-playing. The resources provided include
The Parents Plus – Parenting when Separated Programme (PP-PWS) aims to help separated and divorced parents solve co-parenting problems, better communicate with their co-parent and children, and develop techniques to manage the stress and emotional impact of separation on parents and children. The programme targets separated parents in Ireland, including both mothers and fathers and both custodial and noncustodial parents.
The programme consists of 6 weekly group sessions, with groups of between 6 and 12 parents. During each 2-hour session, mental health professionals facilitate discussions about the effects of separation on children and families. The facilitators provide practical, evidence-based information about the effects of separation, help participants develop parenting and co-parenting skills, and encourage improvement of personal coping. The six sessions cover the following topics: (1) the impact of separation on parents and children; (2) how to develop a business relationship with one’s co-parent; (3) positive parenting strategies for helping children of different ages cope with separation; (4) how to manage children’s contact with the live-away parent; (5) how to remain calm during conflicts; and (6) how to cope with separation in the long term.
The PP-PWS programme was piloted at 3 sites with a total of 33 parents before the evaluation published in 2015. The pilot study demonstrated that the programme was satisfactory to parents and led to statistically significant improvements in meeting goals on the Client Goals Scales (CGS, Coughlin et al., 2009).
Parents Plus provides programme materials (a facilitator’s manual, an accompanying book with background readings, and parent booklets) and conducts facilitator trainings in Dublin, Ireland. The programme facilitator’s manual contains key psychoeducational points and a description of exercises for each session. The PP-PWS parent booklet also covers key points from each session.
PP-PWS is part of a suite of programs designed by Parents Plus, a registered charity in Dublin, Ireland. Since 1998, Parents Plus has been developing parenting and mental health courses grounded in developmental psychology. To design the PP-PWS programme, the programme authors conducted focus groups with separated parents, reviewed research on the effects of divorce on children and adults, and consulted curricula from effective psychoeducational skills-training programs and material from other Parents Plus programmes.