Spring/Summer 2018 study by Child Trends demonstrates improvements in parenting skills, child behavior

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 23, 2019)

Conscious Discipline, a leader in social-emotional learning and classroom management best practices, has announced the results of a 2018 descriptive study conducted by Child Trends measuring the effects of its Parenting Education Curriculum (PEC) at four Head Start programs. The research team visited each site during the first and last week of the program, and had parents complete the Attentive Parenting Survey (APS). The team interviewed 19 parents during the site visits, and again six to eight weeks after the end of the classes. The team also interviewed Head Start directors, and teachers of students whose parents attended the program.

Findings in the study indicate improved parenting knowledge and skills after completing the PEC. At the end of the seven-week course, 14 of the 49 items on the APS—including items best aligned with the Conscious Discipline model—showed statistically significant improvements. Parents reported that they were less likely to raise their voices in frustration, more likely to encourage children to share their feelings and less likely to feel overwhelmed by parenting responsibilities.

Parents also reported improvements in managing their emotions and responding to challenging behaviors from children. About 75 percent of parents surveyed reported one or more examples of using new skills to respond to challenging behavior, and more than 50 percent reported improvements in regulating their emotions and communicating with their children.

“Before, I was doing as I was taught: yell, scream right back at them when they threw a fit. These classes helped me compose myself, to say, ‘Okay, stay calm.’ You can’t really think when you’re not calm. Once you get calm, you can think about how to handle the situation. And the kids, they mimic how they see their parents act,” said one participating parent.

More than 75 percent of parents reported at least one positive change in their child’s behavior. Most frequently, these changes involved children being better able to identify, communicate and manage their emotions and behaviors.

The study also found that parents reported increasing use of the Conscious Discipline skills and strategies to address challenging behaviors. Six to eight weeks after the intervention, parents used Conscious Discipline skills more consistently than immediately after classes concluded.

Head Start directors and teachers noted improved relationships with parents that attended the PEC classes and positive changes in the school-home connection. Parents stated that they felt happier, less frustrated and more interested in connecting with their children. 100 percent of parents interviewed said they would recommend or had already recommended Conscious Discipline’s Parenting Education Curriculum to others. 100 percent of Head Start directors said the program was worth the investment and they would offer the parenting series again in the future.

To learn more about Conscious Discipline, visit ConsciousDiscipline.com.

About Conscious Discipline

Conscious Discipline provides a comprehensive, trauma-informed social-emotional program that is based on current brain research, child development information and developmentally appropriate practices. All aspects of Conscious Discipline focus on creating a safe, connected environment for children to learn and practice the skills needed for healthy social, emotional and academic development. Conscious Discipline methodology is recognized by SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and it was named as a national model for character education by the Florida State Legislature. Research shows that Conscious Discipline decreases aggression, impulsivity and hyperactivity while creating a positive environment in the school or home. In schools, Conscious Discipline has been shown to decrease discipline referrals while increasing teaching time and academic achievement. Learn more at www.consciousdiscipline.com.

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