Treatment Fidelity as a Predictor of Behaviour Change in Parents Attending Group-based Parent Training
The current study aims to investigate if LOT skills subgroups predict change in parenting behaviour, for parents with preschool children at risk of developing CD who attended IY PT groups within Sure Start areas in North and MidWales and the borders (see Hutchings et al. 2007 for full details of the trial). The hypotheses are twofold. First, it is predicted that greater exposure will produce greater change in observed positive parenting behaviours and change in self-reported parenting style. Second, it is hypothesized that observed change in positive parenting will predict change in observed child outcome scores, and change in parent-reported parenting style will predict change in parent-reported child behaviour problems.
Background: Change in parenting skills, particularly increased positive parenting, has been identified as the key component of successful evidence-based parent training (PT), playing a causal role in subsequent child behaviour change for both prevention and treatment of Conduct Disorder. The amount of change in parenting skills observed after PT varies and may be accounted for by both the content of the programme and by the level of PT implementer process skills. Such variation in implementer skills is an important component in the assessment of treatment fidelity, itself an essential factor in successful intervention outcome.
Aims: To establish whether the Leader Observation Tool, a reliable and valid process skills fidelity measure, can predict change in parenting skills after attendance on the Incredible Years PT programme.
Results: Positive leader skills categories of the Leader Observation Tool significantly predicted change in both parent-reported and independently observed parenting skills behaviour, which in turn, predicted change in child behaviour outcome.
Conclusions: Delivering an intervention with a high level of treatment fidelity not only preserves the behaviour change mechanisms of the intervention, but can also predict parental behaviour change, which itself predicts child behaviour change as a result of treatment.