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Two-Session Group Parent Training for Bedtime Noncompliance in Head Start Children

Sleep difficulties, especially night waking and bedtime struggles, are some of the most common childhood behavior problems. Sleep disruptions are associated with children's daytime behavior problems, impaired social functioning, poorer school performance, and even an increased probability of child abuse. Additionally, these disruptions have a number of negative consequences for members of the child's family, such as parental fatigue, marital discord, and detrimental effects on siblings. Of the evidence-based treatments for bedtime problems in young children, graduated extinction is the most widely used by clinicians. A number of studies have demonstrated its effectiveness. However, the generalizability of these findings to children from ethnic minority and low socioeconomic backgrounds has not been established. Additionally, the vast majority of studies in this area have examined interventions that are delivered individually. Given the potential advantages of group treatments, it seemed prudent to examine the efficacy of an intervention delivered to groups of parents. In an interrupted time series design, 5 parents of children aged 4 - 5 enrolled at a Head Start preschool site participated in one of two groups that received group parent training on the use of graduated extinction. Parents reported that their children demonstrated large reductions in both bedtime and daytime behavior problems from pretest to posttest, and parents reported decreased depression and stress during this period. At 2-month follow up, gains in the children's bedtime behavior were maintained. Parents also reported that improvements in their children's daytime behavior as well as their own depression and stress remained significantly improved from baseline, although there was some regression toward baseline levels. Overall, parents reported high levels of satisfaction with the intervention.
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Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
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Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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