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‘Living with Teenagers’: feasibility study of a peer-led parenting intervention for socially disadvantaged families with adolescent children
  1. Daniel Michelson1,
  2. Ilan Ben-Zion2,
  3. Alana I James2,
  4. Lucy Draper3,
  5. Caroline Penney3,
  6. Crispin Day1,3
  1. 1Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK
  3. 3Centre for Parent and Child Support, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Michelson, CAMHS Research Unit, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, SE5 8AF, UK; daniel.m.d.michelson{at}kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective To develop and test the feasibility of a peer-led parenting intervention for parents of adolescent children.

Design Formative evaluation using a mixed-method cohort design.

Setting Socially deprived community sites in London, UK.

Participants Parents seeking help with managing behavioural difficulties of an index adolescent child (aged 11–17 years).

Intervention A structured, group-based intervention (‘Living with Teenagers’) delivered by trained peer facilitators.

Main outcome measures We assessed feasibility in terms of uptake and completion rates (% parents completing ≥5 sessions); social validity (assessed by service satisfaction measure and participant interviews); and potential for impact (assessed by parent-reported measures of adolescent behaviour and mental health, parenting satisfaction, expressed emotion, and disciplinary practices).

Results Participants (n=41) were predominately (79%) from minority ethnic backgrounds and nearly half were lone parents. Most had not previously accessed a structured parenting programme. The completion rate was 71%. Significant changes (p<0.05) were observed in reduced parental concern about adolescent problems, increased parenting satisfaction and less negative expressed emotion. There were non-significant changes in disciplinary practices and adolescent mental health. Participants were highly satisfied with their service experience and endorsed the acceptability of the intervention's content, materials and peer-led format, while suggesting an expanded number of sessions and more skills practice and demonstrations.

Conclusions Peer-led parenting groups are feasible and potentially effective for supporting parents of adolescents living in socially disadvantaged communities. These findings warrant more rigorous testing under controlled conditions.

  • Adolescent Health
  • Health services research
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Child Psychology
  • Comm Child Health

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