Equipped Parents Promote Healthier Children Advanced General PsychologyEducating Future Parents on Positive Communication Techniques Promotes Positive Emotional Responses and Healthy Socialization Skills in Children. Caroline Scholte October 24, 2009
Parental Education = Prevention Juvenile crime is on the rise after a 12 year decline both on the federal and state levels (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009). The American culture is individualistic by nature and as such, rather than look for ways to prevent or correct the causes of juvenile crime on a macro level, our systems and policies focus on the micro level; the individual.
Existing Programs No Child Left Behind: Enacted in January 2002 under President George W. Bush (US Dep. Of Ed.) Head Start : Introduced on 1965, amended and reauthorized 2007 (DHHS) Neighborhood Watch : Created in 1972 by the National Sherriff's Association (The National Office of Citizen Corps – FEMA ) Mentorships: Big Brother/Big Sister – Early 1900’s (BBBS) Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts – 1910/1912 Work Study Programs
Snyder, Stoolmiller, Wilson & Yamamoto, (2003, July) found that harsh parenting tactics and parental anger had the most negative impacted on children who already displayed relatively high levels of antisocial behavior at age 5.
Mulvaney & Mebert, (2007, September) presented evidence that parental corporal punishment contributes to unhealthy behavior in children as early as age 3 thru 1st grade, with the more noticeable effects in younger children who have already been classified as having difficult temperaments.
Kochanska, (2002), found that the degree to which the parent and infant were focused on the same task (MRO) predicted the degree of conscious development at age two.The history of MRO in the first two years of a child experience will predict the child’s conscience by age 5.
Supporting Studies cont. Gross, Shaw, Moilanen, Dishion, & Wilson, (2008) and Malik, Boris, Heller, Harden, Squires, Chazan-Cohen, et al. (2007) focused on the parental state of being rather than parental behavior, namely the depressive state of the parent, as having a relationship to the child’s development of negative behavior. Assel, Landry, Swank, Steelman, Miller-Loncar, & Smith, (2002) found that a mothers’ degree of emotional stress had a direct influence on their child’s social and attention problems and suggested that a relationship exists between the unhealthy state of mind of the parent and parental negative behaviors to the development of unhealthy behaviors in their children. Knafo, A., & Plomin, R. (2006) and Roelofs, Meesters, Huurne, Bamelis, & Muris, (2006): negative effects of poor parenting can be carried across generations further supporting the importance and necessity of teaching healthy parenting skills
Supporting Studies cont. Leschied, Chiodo, Nowicki, & Rodger, (2008): Children with early onset unhealthy or antisocial behavior are most at risk to continue this behavior into adulthood. Huesmann, Eron, & Dubow, 2002; Leschied, Chiodo, Nowicki, & Rodger, 2008; Miller, McKay, & Baptiste, 2007; Knafo, & Plomin, 2006: Childhood factors that have been associated with early prediction of later criminal conduct include social withdrawal, disruptive behavior, aggression, temperament, poor parenting practices, physical punishment, low supervision, neglect and poor communication as well as gender. *** ***It is important to state that the studies mentioned utilized self report surveys which could have contained several reporting errors. Bias in the form of random participant error, subject bias, social desirability and demand characteristics are all possible weaknesses. The study disproportionally focused primarily on European white families, the mother and males which implies that the generalizibility of these studies cannot be guaranteed across cultures.
The Next Logical Step Early identification, prevention, and intervention with young children at risk for emotional or behavioral problems may begin with educating our teenagers before they become parents on healthy child rearing techniques. Changing parental behavior in an experimental group through education of healthy parenting skills may provide evidence of a causal relationship, which has not as of yet been proven, between parenting skills and a child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors further supporting the need of a curriculum teaching healthy parenting to be implemented in our national school system.
Our Responsibility It is not enough as human beings for us to simply exist in life and accept what is. We were given the ability to examine, learn, grow, and change each other and our environment for better.
References Assel, M., Landry, S., Swank, P., Steelman, L., Miller-Loncar, C., & Smith, K. (2002). How do mothers’ childrearing histories, stress and parenting affect children's behavioural outcomes?Child: Care, Health & Development, 28(5), 359-368. Retrieved July 10, 2009, doi:10.1046/j.1365-2214.2002.00285.x Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (2008) About Us. Retrieved on October 22, 2009 from http://www.bbbs.org/ Brown, S.E., Esbensen, F & Geis, G. (2007). Criminology: Explaining Crime and Its Context, (6th ed.). Matthew Bender, & Co. Cincinnati, OH Department of Health and Human Services (2009) Head Start Act. Retrieved on October 22, 2009 from: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov Gross, H., Shaw, D., Moilanen, K., Dishion, T., & Wilson, M. (2008, October). Reciprocal models of child behavior and depressive symptoms in mothers and fathers in a sample of children at risk for early conduct problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(5), 742-751. Retrieved September 8, 2009, doi:10.1037/a0013514 Huesmann, L., Eron, L., & Dubow, E. (2002, September). Childhood predictors of adult criminality: are all risk factors reflected in childhood aggressiveness?.Criminal Behaviour & Mental Health, 12(3), 185. Retrieved September 8, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. Knafo, A., & Plomin, R. (2006, January). Parental discipline and affection and children's prosocial behavior: Genetic and environmental links. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(1), 147-164. Retrieved September 8, 2009, doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206 Kochanska, G. (2002, December). Mutually responsive orientation between mothers and their young children: A context for the early development of conscience.Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(6), 191-195. Retrieved September 8, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.
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