The measurement of parenting skills to promote effective education for the progress and safeguarding of children
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AuthorsReynolds, Margaret Grace
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AbstractThe focus of this study is the exploration of the relationship between parenting skills and young children’s developmental progress. The Government purports that good parenting makes a difference in children’s lives by preventing many social and health related problems. Although the literature supports this relationship, it lacks evaluation from the young child’s perspective. The study has 4 main aims. These are to ascertain if there is a relationship between parenting skills and young children’s developmental progress; to identify what it is within that relationship that enables the growth of resilience in the child; to find out if teaching parenting skills to parents of young children improves parenting skills, and to consider the outcome of improved parenting skills on the 0-5 year old child’s development. The overarching paradigms are both qualitative and quantitative, and triangulation of data is used to give confidence to interpretation of data. The method employed in the study is action research, comprising of 2 cycles, each containing the following elements; survey of opinion, questionnaire, semi-structured interview, collective case study and evaluation. The main tool used in cycle 1 of the study 1 was The Schedule of Growing Skills l (SOGS l), a pre-published tool. In cycle 2, the main tools used were The Schedule of Growing Skills ll (SOGS ll updated SOGS l), the Parenting Skills Scale (PSS), and a questionnaire entitled ‘Questions about you and your family’ developed for use in this study. Use of a similar tool at the validity stage of PSS development was a possible weakness, although no tool the same as PSS was available. Inclusion of a larger number of respondents at the evaluation stage could have improved the robustness of the data. Ethical approval was obtained from The University of Wolverhampton, and Dudley Primary Care NHS Trust. Issues considered included confidentiality, informed consent and potential harm versus benefit. Respondents were drawn from parents living in Dudley and their 0-5 year old children, and professionals from health and social services within the area. There were 4 respondent groups involved in the evaluation of the specialist area, child protection, in cycle 1. These were child protection register children n=6, each registered child’s health visitor n=6, local comparison group n=60 and National Profile SOGS l scores. PSS development respondents included in face validity, reliability and concurrent validity stages were n=20, n=100 and n=50 respectively. Evaluation respondents in cycle 2 were parent groups n=3, 5, 3, 5 and 8, children n=3, 5, 3, 5 and 9 respectively, and health visitors involved with each group n=5, local comparison group children n=100 and National Profile SOGS ll scores The main finding in cycle 1 was a link between poor parenting skills and young children’s developmental progress. Cycle 2 results found teaching and application of improved parenting skills improved developmental progress in the child. The contribution to knowledge, resulting from this study, is that early teaching and application of improved parenting skills seems to improve the child’s developmental progress, demonstrated by the use of PSS in conjunction with SOGS ll. The PSS tool has been shown to be effective in evaluating the outcome of teaching parenting skills for both the child in the 0-5 year age range and the parent. The method used enabled professionals and parents to be actively involved in the research. This study has provided an evidence-based evaluation tool for the outcomes of teaching parenting skills. Further evaluation involving larger numbers in different areas could give more insight into the effectiveness of the tool, and identification of an optimum subtotal in each scale area.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Master of Philosophy