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Changing Relationships through Interactions: Preliminary Accounts of Parent-Child Interactions after Undertaking Individual Parent Training

Parry, SL and Simpson, J and Weatherhead, S (2018) Changing Relationships through Interactions: Preliminary Accounts of Parent-Child Interactions after Undertaking Individual Parent Training. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. ISSN 0738-0151

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Abstract

Purpose: Parent and child interaction training has been increasingly investigated over recent years. However, the mechanisms of change within individual training programmes are not well understood. To explore the factors that can facilitate or inhibit meaningful changes in interactions and ultimately relationships, the current study employed semi-structured interviews to obtain first person accounts from parents who had undertaken an individualised parent-training programme. Method: Three participants provided accounts of the training programme and their perceived impact upon interactions with their children were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: The analysis resulted in three themes, which illustrate how participants adjusted their interactional style with their child to varying degrees through enhanced personal awareness, increased understanding of their child’s emotional and interactional needs, and accepting the reciprocity of interactional accountability. Discussion: Changes in interactional style enabled participants to alter their perceptions of their own behaviours, their child’s behaviours, and how they influenced one another through interactions. Recommendations for future research and therapeutic practice are discussed in the context of the findings and the existing evidence base.

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