KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

A “Collapse of Parenting” Needs to Be Assessed Carefully

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 12:12 PM

I first heard about this book on a National Public Radio broadcast from nearby Philadelphia during which Dr. Sax was interviewed about his fourth book on parenting. Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, is an experienced family practice physician who is also trained in psychology. The Collapse of Parenting:  How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups is his latest book that offers advice for parents to raise healthier children and teenagers.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child relationship, protective factors, evidence-based

Adverse Childhood Experiences:  ACEs Screening for Children?

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 02:47 PM

The ACE studies have been at the forefront of nearly every early childhood conference I’ve attended for the past couple of years. ACE is an acronym for adverse childhood experiences, such as domestic violence, divorce, death of a parent, family members’ substance abuse or mental health challenges. These studies have raised our understanding of both the high prevalence and long-term consequences of adverse childhood experiences. Also, we’ve learned that children of various backgrounds and socio-economic levels can suffer adverse events.  We are now aware that ACEs may occur in families from all walks of life. The initial ACE study at the Kaiser Permanente HMO in California in the late 1990s demonstrated that nearly two-thirds of the 17,000 participants reported at least 1 ACE and one-fifth reported 3 or more ACEs. As the number of ACEs increased, so did the likelihood of showing unhealthy behaviors and negative physical and mental health outcomes as adults. Subsequent studies have shown similar results in multiple populations, raising alarming public health concerns. It is important to note that the initial ACE study was done with the general population of people receiving HMO care, without selection for risk factors.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, protective factors, adverse experiences/toxic stress, ACE

Resilient Children in Foster/Adoptive Care? Parenting Is Key

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Sat, Feb 21, 2015 @ 02:57 PM

Have you ever wondered what happened to the children you’ve known who were in foster or adoptive care?  As these children were growing up, what did “being in care” mean to them?  As young adults, what are they doing now?  What did they learn from those early life lessons that makes them who they are today?  If you’re like me, you have a thousand questions.  From personal experience within my extended family, I am honored and in awe to have witnessed the growth, grit and perseverance of the foster children who have grown to thriving young adults because of the nurturing of loving families.  I’ve seen how the foster and adoptive parents’ efforts have been so vital to helping my nieces and nephews grow into successful adults.

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Tags: assessing parenting, attachment, protective factors, resilience, foster/adoption, child abuse/neglect prevention

Parents Need Evidenced-Based Advice: A Modest Proposal

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

An article in the Washington Post caught my eye last week.  It’s titled Americans are obsessed with parenting advice. So why are our kids so miserable? and written by Diana Divecha, a Developmental Psychologist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  Divecha claims, “Americans are obsessed with parenting advice. Bloggers, magazines, whole Web sites urge us to do more. Or less.  Be more Chinese they implore. Or more French.”  She’s referring to recently published books and accompanying media campaigns that highlighted the variety of parenting approaches for raising children:  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.  Another article, Thank You to My Dolphin (Not Tiger) Mom, describes a more adaptive approach of parenting.  The so-called Dolphin Mom uses an authoritarian style of warmth and affection, accompanied by rules, expectations, learning through consequences, and flexibility. 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parenting practices, parenting styles, protective factors, evidence-based

Research: Triple P, Disabilities, Parent Assessments & Prevention

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 05:25 PM

Did you know that children with disabilities are reported at nearly 2 times greater risk of child maltreatment than typically developing children?  Some studies indicate that children with emotional or behavior problems are at elevated risk.  Estimates of the prevalence of children 0-5 years with serious emotional/ behavioral disorders in the U.S. range from 9% to 14%.  Challenging behaviors that can have negative ripple effects on the child, family and community by disrupting parent-child relationships, increasing parental stress, isolating families and sometimes triggering child maltreatment.  Unfortunately, government -sponsored early intervention programs often don’t use evidence-based intervention programs to prevent or address these challenging behaviors.  Although research on several family-centered behavioral intervention modelshas shown positive impacts on young children with challenging behaviors and their parents, there’s a gap between research and practice in most communities.

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Tags: parent-child relationship, Triple P, Stepping Stones, disabilities, protective factors