, Volume 33, Issue 2-3, pp 85-97
Date: 24 Apr 2012

The Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale (KEPS): A Tool for Public Health Approaches to Universal Parenting Programs

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Improving the knowledge, skills, and confidence of parents is often the aim of parenting-focused public health strategies and parenting programs, yet research on parental knowledge is limited compared with research on other parenting variables. In this study, a nonclinical sample of 62 parents of children aged 2–3 years was assessed for knowledge of child development processes and milestones [using the Knowledge of Infant Development Inventory (KIDI)] and knowledge of effective parenting strategies [using the Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale (KEPS)], along with self-reported measures of parenting dysfunction and nurturance, parental confidence, parental affective state, and problematic child behavior. Additionally, in-home observations of parent–child interactions were conducted with dependent measures of aversive and non-aversive parent behavior, a composite measure of parenting competence, and aversive child behavior. Results showed that KEPS scores were significantly negatively related to self-reported parenting dysfunction, internalized problematic child behavior, and parental anxiety, and positively related to observed parenting competence. Knowledge as assessed by the KIDI was significantly positively associated only with KEPS scores. These results suggest that increasing parental knowledge of effective parenting strategies at a population level is likely to be more beneficial to parents than increasing their knowledge of child development processes and milestones.