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Keywords:

  • health visiting;
  • parenting programme;
  • children's behaviour problems;
  • critical social science

An action research inquiry into a health visitor parenting programme for parents of pre-school children with behaviour problems

Parent education programmes have recently been given a high profile in this country, such provision deemed necessary because of the commonality of children's behaviour problems and because of their potentially far-reaching effects on the child, the family and society. This action research study, undertaken in Scotland, aims to explore a health visitor parenting programme for parents of pre-school children with behaviour problems. Within this study, children with behaviour problems were identified as those whose parents perceived them to have such problems, the children eliciting a wide range of behaviours and to varying degrees. Critical social science is the chosen methodology, since it allows exploration of how people comprehend their social reality. Group interactions were recorded on audio-tape and themes associated with the methodology of enlightenment, empowerment and emancipation were identified. The results of the study demonstrate how a liberating, collaborative approach to parental education can empower mothers, by increasing understanding and raising self-esteem.