Research at Oregon State University (OSU) supports parenting education as an effective method for improving children’s behavior, interpersonal, and academic skills. Though there has been a stigma surrounding parent education, due to court mandated attendance of parenting programs by individuals at odds with child protective services, education opportunities continue to evolve with current research in psychological development and child-rearing techniques. Since most parents learn parenting skills from their parents and from books, there are wide gaps in information and skills, and much information being handed down from generation to generation is outdated.

Many parenting practices may lead to beneficial outcomes in children, however, research indicates that the combination of high levels of support and monitoring along with the avoidance of harsh punishment result in the best results. Those results include higher grades, fewer behavioral issues, less substance abuse, better mental health and greater social competence.

Though low, middle and high-income groups all benefit from parenting education, research indicates an exceptionally strong benefit from parent education serving lower-income parents compared to higher-income parents.

“Given that the gap is widening between the white, middle-class population of children and children belonging to the growing low-income and Latino populations, examining the relative impact of parenting education programs across these diverse populations is essential,” Jennifer Finders, lead author and graduate student at the College of Public Health and Human Services said. “We think parenting education can have the greatest impact by adapting existing curricula to be culturally relevant and sensitive to diverse children and families’ needs.”

The current curriculum being advocated through these OSU and the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative are indeed being adapted to serve a diverse population. The conclusion that parents are gaining knowledge of childhood development, and coping skills for dealing with the stress of being a parent, as well as building better social networks is very affirmative.


SOURCE:Oregon State University

email-photoNode Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 

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