Promoting Positive Parenting

Tuesday, July 12, 2011: 4:25 PM

Rita Allen Brennan, DNP, RNC-NIC, APN/CNS
Women and Children's Services, Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, IL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss key components of the study.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify nursing strategies for promoting positive parenting skills.

Purpose: This study examines whether parents who receive the Positive Parenting Kit exhibit the expected changes in parenting knowledge across time.  As part of the discharge process new parents receive a Positive Parenting Kit which contains a variety of materials designed to educate parents about their infant’s behavior in the first few months of life. The premise is that purposeful parent education provides a foundation of learned skills and parents may in turn reduce the incidence of child abuse. This study’s focus is limited to the parent knowledge.  This study was conducted at a community hospital in partnership with investigators from a local university and is also one component of a community agency campaign to improve parenting skills.

Methods: In a pre/post test design, parents were asked to complete the Knowledge Questionnaire. Consenting parents were first given the questionnaire after giving birth to complete prior to discharge from the hospital. Demographic information was included, as well as 15 items to ascertain parent knowledge of infant behavior and parenting interventions.  In six weeks a follow-up questionnaire was mailed to the parents’ home.  Parents were asked to complete and return the questionnaire to the investigator at the university.

Results: Response from the initial survey indicates that for ten of the fifteen knowledge assessment items, questions were answered incorrectly by over 25% of the respondents.  This data supports the premise that new parents may benefit from the type of parent educational material presented in the kits.  Preliminary results from the 6-week follow-up survey indicate that knowledge increased significantly across time.       

 Conclusion: Parent respondents demonstrated significant learning for several of the survey items. This validates that providing educational material to parents is beneficial.  This data also allows nurses to identify common parental knowledge gaps and thereby establish an educational plan for new parents.