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PALME : a preventive parental training program for single mothers with preschool aged children

[journal article]

Franz, Matthias; Weihrauch, Lonja; Schäfer, Ralf

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Abstract Aim: Single mothers are exposed to various psychosocial risks. They suffer more frequently from chronic diseases, depression and elevated stress levels. These risk factors also have an impact on their children, who more often display adaptation or behaviour problems. Thus, an efficient parental training program designed for the needs and problems of single mothers and their preschool-aged children was targeted for development. The concept of PALME is based on attachment theory and psychodynamic-interactional approaches. The 20 weekly sessions of the program are manualised and follow a modular structure and is guided by a pair (f/m) of trained kindergarten teachers. Subjects and methods: The efficacy of the program was evaluated within a randomised controlled trial. In all, 61 complete data sets were analysed within a variance analytic model (group × time) pre- and post-treatment. Dependent variables for the mothers were psychological symptom load (SCL-90-R, BSS), well-being (SF-12), emotional competence (SEE), and problem behaviour (SDQ) regarding the children. Results: It could be shown that maternal psychological symptom load and depression were reduced by the training, while maternal well-being and emotional competence were enhanced. Dependent from the intervention the children showed a tendency towards reduced problem behaviour. Conclusion: The PALME program is suited for the prevention of maternal depression and for enhancing the emotional competence of single mothers. Because of its benefits, low costs, easy implementation and good acceptance by the mothers, it was implemented as a regular option for support in many German communities.
Classification Family Sociology, Sociology of Sexual Behavior
Free Keywords Single mothers; Prevention; Parental training program; Maternal depression; Child behaviour; PALME
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 305-319
Journal Journal of Public Health, 19 (2011) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)