Original Paper

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 412-427

Supporting Parents Who Have Youth with Emotional Disturbances Through a Parent-to-Parent Support Program: A Proof of Concept Study Using Random Assignment

  • Krista KutashAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida Email author 
  • , Albert J. DuchnowskiAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida
  • , Amy L. GreenAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida
  • , John M. FerronAffiliated withDepartment of Educational Measurement and Research, University of South Florida

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Abstract

Poor outcomes for youth who have emotional disturbances (ED), especially for those youth who are placed in special education programs, are well documented. Parent Connectors is a parent-to-parent support program delivered through weekly telephone calls to families of youth with ED in special education programs, with the aim of increasing the engagement of parents in their child’s education and treatment and improving the academic and emotional functioning of the child. Findings from a proof of concept study using random assignment of participants yielded encouraging support for the clinical efficacy of the intervention. Results demonstrated enhanced outcomes for parents who were highly strained at the beginning of the study. Implications for future research in the area of parent support are provided.

Keywords

Parent support Emotional disturbance Children’s mental health services Academic functioning