Check Out Our Latest Parenting Journal Article

While working with Families First several years ago, I collaborated with several graduate students and we collected data on the effectiveness of parenting consultations–from the perspective of the parents who participated in the consultations. It was a very small and uncontrolled study, but the results were positive and we just got word that the publication–in The Family Journal–is available. And so, if you’re interested in this sort of thing, the abstract is below and you can link to the whole article right about here:

Effectiveness of Solution-Focused Consultations on Parent Stress and Competence

John Sommers-Flanagan, Sara Polanchek, Waganesh A. Zeleke, Meredith H. E. Hood, and Sidney L. Shaw


Parenting is a challenging activity and many parents report high stress and feelings of
incompetence. Both of these factors (a) stress and (b) feelings of incompetence are associated with
a variety of negative parenting outcomes. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a
community-based, solution-focused, 2-session parent consultation intervention on parent
perceptions of stress and competence. A pre-post quasi-experimental design was employed.
Forty-five consecutive parents who sought consultation services were administered three
preintervention questionnaires. Results included positive outcomes across all three outcome
measures as well as high ratings on a satisfaction questionnaire. Although significant reductions
in parenting stress and increased parenting self-efficacy were obtained, the study design and small
and homogeneous sample limit generalization of these findings. Nevertheless, this study highlights
the possibility that a straightforward, positive, brief, and community-based
intervention may have the potential to decrease parental stress and increase parenting sense of

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