Effects of a brief parenting intervention in shelters for mothers and their children experiencing homelessness
This study was designed to examine the effectiveness of an evidence-based parenting program—Triple P Positive Parenting Program—in shelter settings for families experiencing homelessness. The intervention has not previously been evaluated in a shelter setting, where there is a critical need for evidence-based parenting programs. Using a within-group pre- and post-intervention with 3-month follow-up design, 39 mothers residing in a shelter with a child ages 2–6 years participated. Results of this preliminary study showed positive effects of Triple P Discussion Groups. There were significant improvements in mother-reported parenting practices and child behavior across time, but no change in child maltreatment risk as measured by the Brief Child Abuse Potential Inventory. Mothers rated satisfaction with the program high immediately after the group and again three weeks later. Results showed Triple P Discussion Groups are acceptable and have some positive effects for this vulnerable population in need of parenting support. We discuss implications of findings, limitations of the study (including a 33% attrition rate), and recommendations for further study.