Parents are more likely to successfully complete parenting skills training programs when the training is provided in the parents’ primary language and is culturally relatable, according to a recent study by researchers from the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
“Parent-infant interaction training with a Latino mother”, which is published in International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, underscored the importance of providing culturally adapted parenting programs when working with Latino families to stem child maltreatment. Child abuse and neglect is a serious public health problem, with almost a quarter of all reported instances occurring in Latino families.
The study examined a single Latina mother’s participation in the SafeCare program, an evidence-based, in-home parenting skills training program for families with children younger than five. SafeCare is administered by the National SafeCare Training and Research Center and housed within the School of Public Health’s Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development.
The mother provided feedback on the program, which used parent materials printed in Spanish and replaced words and themes not commonly found in Latino culture, such as “peek-a-boo,” with ones that are. The mother also participated in follow-up sessions in which her interactions with her one-year-old child were observed.
The culturally adapted training “produced an immediate increase in the mother’s demonstration of nonphysical and physical interactions skills with her infant,” the study noted. The mother also rated her satisfaction with the training as “very positive, and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn more about her son’s development.”
The study also suggested that Latino families would likely benefit from the inclusion of other family members, such as older siblings and grandparents, in training sessions.
The researchers from the school’s Center for Healthy Development were Ms. Yamile Morales, Dr. John R. Lutzker, center director and professor of health promotion and behavior, and Ms. Katelyn Guastaferro.