** Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 15.4, December 2021. All rights reserved.**
Background: There is a need for community-based parent education programs that strengthen the parent-child relationship and mitigate the negative impact of parental adverse childhood experiences on child social-emotional development.
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether a community-based parent education program can improve children’s social-emotional development.
This was a prospective observational study of a series of community education parenting classes in Rochester, MN. Group classes were delivered weekly for three months. Classes utilized Dr. Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline Program. Parents of children ages 2-5 years and identified as at risk of poor social-emotional outcomes based on The Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional 2 (ASQ:SE2) score were eligible to participate.
Results: There were 39 child-parent dyads who enrolled. Parental ACEs scores ranged from 0-6 with a median of 1.5 (IQR 0-3, N=34). In the 33 children with both pre and post ASQ:SE2 tests available, there was a significant decrease in the post-ASQ:SE2 score compared to the pre-ASQ:SE2 score (Mean Difference -30.3, 95% CI -42.2 to -18.4, p<0.001) where lower scores are associated with less social-emotional impairment. There was no significant association in the change of pre-post ASQ:SE2 scores as parents’ ACEs scores increased (Estimated Slope 3.1, 95% CI -3.7-9.9, p= 0.36).
Conclusions: Community-based, parent education interventions can improve child social-emotional development. This program utilizing Dr. Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline Program improved ASQ-SE scores, regardless of parental ACEs exposure.