Child health and well-being are intrinsically important and also contribute to a healthy, productive adolescence and adulthood. Parents can play an important role in helping their children acquire or strengthen the behaviors, skills, attitudes, and motivation that promote physical and mental health and overall well-being in childhood, adolescence and well into their adulthood. Acknowledging this, a variety of programs and interventions engage parents in efforts to achieve one or more outcomes for their children: academic achievement and attendance; a reduction in internalizing behaviours such as depression and anxiety, a reduction in externalizing behaviours or acting out such as aggression or delinquent behaviours; an awareness, reduction, or avoidance of substance abuse; awareness or avoidance of risky sexual behavior; and achieving/maintaining health and fitness. In this Fact Sheet, Child Trends synthesizes the findings from 67 rigorous evaluations of parent involvement interventions for children ages 6-11 years old to identify the components and strategies asscociated with successful programs and interventions. Overall, programs that actively engage parents generally have positive impacts. These include parenting skills training programs (21 of 25 evaluated programs had positive impacts on at least one child outcome), parent-child involvement programs (15 of 18 had a positive impact), and programs that actively involved both parents and children (40 of 46 had a positive impact). However, parent education-only programs did not generally have impacts; only six of 19 had impacts on any child outcomes. On the other hand, most (10 of 12) programs that integrate technology into their interventions have positive impacts on at least one child outcome. (Author abstract)
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