Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Elwin C. Nielsen


Elwin C. Nielsen


This study attempts to determine if concurrently teaching Parent Effectiveness Training principles to parents and their children results in greater effectiveness than teaching the parents only.

The study was performed in the context of the Learning Adjustment School Program sponsored by the Eastern Idaho Community Mental Health Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The subjects were 35 students in this program who had learning disabilities and/or emotional disturbances. Fifty-two of their parents were also subjects. An experimental group of parents, a control group of parents, an experimental group of children, and a control group of children were selected. The students in the experimental group of children were the children of the parents in the experimental group of parents. The same relationship existed for the control groups.

Both groups of parents received a course in Parent Effectiveness Training. The experimental group of children received a modified version of Parent Effectiveness Training. The control group of children did not receive instruction in the principles of Parent Effectiveness Training.

All parents were pretested and post-tested on the Parent Attitude Survey, the Parent Problem Check List, and the Self-Concept Inventory-- Parent. All children were pretested and post-tested on the Children's Reports of Parental Behavior Inventory and the Self-Concept Inventory--Child.

The experimental group of parents showed a significantly greater increase in confidence in themselves as parents, in trusting their children, in over all attitude improvement, and in more positive self-ratings of their own problems. These results were consistent with the predicted outcome.

The control group of children rated their parents as showing a significantly greater decrease in hostile detachment than the experimental group of children. The control group also rated themselves as showing a significantly greater increase of positive work habits and happy qualities than did the children in the experimental group. These results were inconsistent with the predicted outcome.

The results of this study seem to indicate that teaching children Parent Effectiveness Training principles is desirable from the point of view of parents but undesirable from the point of view of children.



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