Effectiveness of Solution-Focused Consultations on Parent Stress and Competence

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The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families

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Parenting is a challenging activity and many parents report high stress and feelings of incompetence. Both of these factors (a) stress and (b) feelings of incompetence are associated with a variety of negative parenting outcomes. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a community-based, solution-focused, 2-session parent consultation intervention on parent perceptions of stress and competence. A pre-post quasi-experimental design was employed. Forty-five consecutive parents who sought consultation services were administered three preintervention questionnaires. Results included positive outcomes across all three outcome measures as well as high ratings on a satisfaction questionnaire. Although significant reductions in parenting stress and increased parenting self-efficacy were obtained, the study design and small and homogeneous sample limit generalization of these findings. Nevertheless, this study highlights the possibility that a straightforward, positive, brief, and community-based intervention may have the potential to decrease parental stress and increase parenting sense of competence.