Getting help with parenting makes a difference

Parenting interventions for helping children with behavioral problems are just as effective in school age, as in younger children.

Parenting interventions for helping children with behaviour problems are just as effective in school age, as in younger children, according to new Oxford University research. Image credit: Shutterstock
Parenting interventions for helping children with behaviour problems are just as effective in school age, as in younger children, according to new Oxford University research. Image credit: Shutterstock

According to new Oxford University research, it’s time to stop focusing on when we intervene with parenting, and just get on with helping children in need of all ages. This is the first study to test this age assumption.

The study suggests that parenting interventions are a typical and powerful instrument for decreasing child behavior issues, however, investigations of age impacts have up to this point created mix outcomes.

Scientists analyzed the data from more than 15,000 families from everywhere throughout the world and found no proof that before is better. Older children profited the same amount of as more youthful ones from parenting interventions for decreasing behavioral issues. There was no confirmation at all for the regular conviction that prior interventions are all the more powerful – and this depended on joining information from in excess of 150 through preliminaries.

Likewise, their monetary investigation (based on the UK and Ireland subset of the information) found that interventions with older children were in reality more inclined to be savvy.

Professor Frances Gardner of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention said, “Where there is concern about behavioral difficulties in younger children, it is important that our findings are never used as a reason to delay intervention, as children and families otherwise will suffer for longer.”

“With respect to common parenting interventions for reducing behavior problems in childhood, rather than believing ‘earlier is better’, we should conclude, ‘it’s never too early, never too late.”

The study draws the conclusion that it makes sense to invest in parenting interventions for children at all ages showing signs of behavioral difficulties, as they are no more likely to be effective in younger than older children, at least in the pre-adolescent range, 2-11 years.

Though, there is more work to be done. Future studies are needed that focus on adolescents, longer-term outcomes, and using multiple sources (e.g. observations; father reports) for assessing child behavioral problems.

The study is published in the journal Child Development.

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