University of Limerick
Burke_2020_Effectiveness.pdf (2.86 MB)

The effectiveness and acceptability of a parenting group on perceived stress, parental self-regulation and child emotional and behavioural problems: investigating the impact of parental adverse childhood experiences on outcomes

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posted on 2022-12-14, 16:00 authored by John Burke
Many children experience some form of adversity in their childhood. These adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have long-term implications without the protective buffer of supportive parenting. Parenting group interventions were designed to support parents who struggle to act as the protective buffer against adversity. Despite the wide-ranging impacts of ACEs, their influence on parenting intervention outcomes is relatively unknown. The Understanding your Child’s Behaviour Programme (UYCBP) is a 10-week parenting group founded on the Solihull Approach which adopts a relational approach and explores a parents’ own experiences of being parented. This study used a pre-post repeated measures, mixedmethods design to evaluate the acceptability and effectiveness of the UYCBP in an Irishbased sample for the first time. Cumulative parental ACE scores were gathered to investigate their effects on outcomes. The group was experienced as ‘acceptable’ based on the ‘Experience of Service Questionnaire’, attendance rates and qualitative findings. Perceived stress (‘Perceived Stress scale’) and parental self-regulation (‘Me as a Parent’) showed significant improvements. Child emotional and behavioural improvements (‘Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire’) were observed on categorical data only. There was no significant effect of ACEs at baseline or on intervention outcomes. Qualitative data revealed salient themes of “Seeing” the child; Parental self-regulation; and Experiences of being parented. Research and clinical implications including the importance of adopting broader, more sensitive methods of researching ACEs as well as tracking parent progression over longer periods are discussed.



  • Faculty of Education and Health Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Houghton, Sharon

Second supervisor

Fortune, Dónal G.





Department or School

  • Psychology