Parental empowerment and child behavioral problems in single and two-parent families during family treatment

H. Damen*, J. W. Veerman, A. A. Vermulst, I. Westerdijk, R. H. J. Scholte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We examined (1) the extent to which the family-centered program Intensive Family Treatment (IFT) succeeds in realizing beneficial parental psychological empowerment and child behavioral outcomes both in single-parent and two-parent families and (2) how these outcomes are influenced by the presence of a co-caregiver as a potential source of empowerment. A group of 140 single-mother and 156 mother–father families was compared. Information about empowerment of parents and children’s behavioral problems was collected at the start and end of IFT and analyzed with cross-lagged panel analyses. Although single mothers and mothers in two-parent families were comparable in the extent of improvements in psychological empowerment (effect sizes were respectively 0.52 and 0.57) and child behavioral problems (effect sizes were both 0.49), they differ in how these improvements were achieved. For single-parent families, more maternal empowerment at the start of IFT was directly related to positive changes in child behavioral problems (β = −0.246, p < 0.01). Among two-parent families, more paternal empowerment at the start was directly related to improved maternal empowerment (β = 0.249, p < 0.001) but maternal empowerment at the start was not directly related to changes in the father’s empowerment. This study stresses the importance of taking into account the presence or absence of a co-caregiver as a potential source of psychological empowerment during family-centered programs as IFT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2824-2835
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Parental empowerment and child behavioral problems in single and two-parent families during family treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this