While children benefit cognitively and socially from early intervention services, including no-cost and voluntary parent training programs, parents of different ages and ethnicities have dropped out at rates between 30% and 60%. The study sample consisted of 25 African American, European American, and Hispanic/Latino adult parents who did not complete a parent training program and participated in focus groups to determine the reasons for this dropout behavior. Through the application of the health belief model as the theoretical framework, five themes emerged which were all discovered to be forms of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the underlying cause of dropout and poor parenting practices are being defended and justified to protect self-esteem. The findings among all ethnic groups studied indicated that the theme of "parenting style conflict" with program goals was the most predictive of dropout. The parenting style conflicts included the use of an authoritarian parenting style, the belief that parenting responsibilities are overwhelming or parenting is a private matter, and the strategies endorsed in parent training programs are perceived as perfect or White. The implication of this study is that parent training intervention curriculum and providers are failing to reach the parents who experience these parenting style conflicts and who most need parent training. The programs are designed to fail countless parents. Recommendations for future research include interviewing parents who have completed parent training programs to determine their parenting style and the reasons they completed a parent training program, and studying the effectiveness of and dropout rate from parent training programs employing components and instructors addressing reasons for cognitive dissonance.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Individual & family studies, Ethnic studies|
|Keywords:||Cognitive dissonance, Drop out, Health belief models, Parent training programs, Parenting, Parenting styles|
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