Does engaging in a group-based intervention increase parental self-efficacy in parents of preschool children? A systematic review of the current literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3173-3191
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes
As the preschool years are a formative period for long-term physical and mental health, this period is recognised as an important window for early effective intervention. Parenting behaviour is a key factor to target in order to optimise child development. Group-based interventions for parents are considered efficient and cost effective methods of early intervention and have been found to improve child behaviour and adjustment. Self-efficacy is key to behaviour change and as such parental self-efficacy should be a consideration in interventions aimed at influencing parenting behaviour. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review was to examine the impact of group-based early interventions for parents of preschool children on parental self-efficacy. Nine databases were searched (ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, Maternity and Infant Care, Ovid Medline, PsycINFO, Pubmed, Science Direct and Web of Science). Studies were included if they were a randomised controlled trial of a group-based intervention for parents of preschool children and measured change in parental self-efficacy. Fifteen studies were identified. Although changes in parental self-efficacy following a group-based intervention were noted in the majority of studies reviewed, the methodological quality of the studies included in the review means these findings have to be interpreted with caution; only seven studies were rated to be methodologically adequate. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which these interventions may improve parental self-efficacy. Studies specifically examining the impact of such interventions on paternal self-efficacy are also warranted.

    Research areas

  • Parental, self-efficacy, pre-school children, RCT, parenting intervention


  • 10.1007_s10826-016-0464-z

    Rights statement: © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (

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External organisations

  • University of Manchester

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