Parent training: a critical public health initiative


  • Michele Knox Department of Psychiatry, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, United States of América



Raising children is known to be an incredibly challenging yet enormously important undertaking.  Children are highly sensitive to and affected by parents’ behaviors and parental characteristics, such as parental warmth and hostility.  The substantial impact of parenting on both child and adult outcomes for offspring has important implications for social and public health issues such as delinquency, substance abuse, violence, and crime.  In addition, parenting has a major impact on youths’ academic and occupational outcomes as well as social outcomes such as helping, sharing, and other kinds of prosocial behaviors.  When we consider that parenting happens, for better or for worse, in every single family where children live, the enormity of the impact of this construct on entire populations becomes apparent. Despite this, parenting is rarely the focus of public health or educational initiatives. Parents simply are not taught how to parent. This is not because they do not need to be taught; in one study, 94.0% of parents reported at least one unmet need for advice, support, or guidance with parenting (Bethell et al., 2004).  When we bear in mind the fact that the adverse effects of poor parenting persist for generations, the urgent need to address and improve parenting on a universal level becomes clear.  This article makes the case that parent training programs are essential and can lead to substantial improvements on the individual, family, and societal levels.


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How to Cite

Knox, M. (2024). Parent training: a critical public health initiative. Millenium - Journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(24), e34946.