Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
Background: The early years of life are crucial in shaping long term outcomes for children. The research consistently demonstrates that families have the greatest impact on the young. In this research traditional parenting is compared with parenting skills developed with an understanding of recent neurobiological research and its understanding of child development. These new parenting skills are taught through the training programme named BDB-MTP (Brain Development-based Maternal Training Package). Methods: The subjects consisted of 78 mothers and their 78 preschool children, divided into 2 equal groups. A non-equivalent control group design was used. A range of measures were taken before the commencement of the programme, on completion, and at follow-up 5 months later. For the parents, these measures included a parent questionnaire and the Parent Stress Index for the children, the Preschool Readiness Inventory and Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales were used. The data were analysed using MANCOVA and multiple regressions. Result: The findings revealed that the BDB-MTP yielded better results than the TPT (Traditional Parenting Technique) in various areas. As a whole, on average, the stress of the mothers in the former group is significantly less than those in the latter group in the posttest and their stress levels are insignificantly different in the follow-up study. The stress levels of the mothers in both groups were significantly different in 4 aspects in the posttest and 2 aspects in the follow-up study. The effect sizes of the trainings on the 2 aspects were moderate. Mother education had a significant effect on parenting techniques and child development in both groups, and most mothers in the experimental group agree that the BDB-MTP package was beneficial for them, and that further training should be provided. Conclusion: How can family best be supported when offering effective rearing experiences for their children? How can findings from the study in parent education, especially those relating to preschool child development best be used?