Being a Parent: Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention for Childhood Behavioral Problems


This randomized controlled trial aims to test the efficacy of an early parenting intervention for childhood behavior problems in the portuguese community. More specifically, this research intends to: 1) examine the effects of the parenting intervention in childhood behavior problems, positive parenting skills and parental concerns; 2) test participants' adherence, acceptability and dropout rates of the parenting intervention; and 3) qualitatively analyze the experience of parents' who received the intervention. Researchers will compare an intervention group with a waitlist control group to see if there are any significant differences between these groups regarding childhood behavior problems and the aforementioned parenting dimensions. Participants in both groups will be able to participate in the parenting intervention that has a duration of 9 weeks. Furthermore, they will be asked to fill in pre and post data.

Full Title of Study: “Ser Pai & Ser Mãe: Avaliação de Uma intervenção Parental Para crianças Com Problemas”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: November 30, 2023


  • Behavioral: Being a Parent
    • Being a Parent (BaP) is a group parenting intervention for parents of children (2-11 years old) with behavioral problems. It consists of 2-hour sessions facilitated by psychologists for between 8-12 parents. Based on attachment, family systems, and cognitive-behavioral theories, BaP successfully integrates knowledge acquisition, behavior change with adult learning and social support. Each course session is highly interactive involving an engaging blend of small and large group discussion, role play, demonstrations, information sharing and reflection. This enables parents to practice and use new skills to achieve specific goals (Day et al., 2020).

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Intervention Group
    • The intervention group will be receiving the parenting intervention (name of the intervention: Being a Parent).
  • No Intervention: Waitlist Control Group
    • The control group will be in a waitilist condition, in which they will not receive any intervention during the trial, but posteriorly will have the opportunity to receive the parenting intervention.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change in the Child Behavior Checklist for Preschool and School Years (CBCL; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001; Portuguese version: Achenbach et al., 2014)
    • Time Frame: Through study completion, up to 11 months
    • Based on parents’ reports, it assesses behaviors that have been present for the past six months in youth between the ages of 1.5 and 18 years old. Each item is assessed using a 3-point Likert scale, ranging from Not True to Completely True. Only the broadband Externalizing Domain and its subdimensions will be used, which assesses behavioral problems, and comprises 28 items for the Preschool Years and 71 for the School Years.

Secondary Measures

  • Change in the Parental Concerns Scale (Castro, 2012)
    • Time Frame: Through study completion, up to 11 months
    • It is constituted by 21 items, divided into five concern dimensions, namely family and school problems; eating, sleep and physical complaints; preparation; fears; and negative behaviors. Parents must answer using a 5-point Likert scale (Not concerned to Extremely concerned).
  • Change in the Parental Sense of Competence (PSOC; Johnston & Mash, 1989; portuguese version: Nunes et al., 2014)
    • Time Frame: Through study completion, up to 11 months
    • Measures parental sense of competence as perceived by parents, by examining two dimensions, namely Efficacy and Satisfaction.
  • Change in the Parental Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ; Robinson et al., 2001; portuguese version: Pedro et al., 2015)
    • Time Frame: Through study completion, up to 11 months
    • Analyzes dysfunctional parenting practices.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Primary caregivers who identify difficulties managing the behavior of a child between the ages of 2 and 11 years old. Exclusion Criteria:

  • Primary caregivers of children with serious neurodevelopmental or cognitive disorders diagnosed; – Primary caregivers of children institucionalized; – Primary caregivers who do not comprehend, read or write in portuguese; – Primary caregivers inability to commit to weekly sessions.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • ISPA – Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Psicologicas, Sociais e da Vida
  • Collaborator
    • Fundação Cecília Zino
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Laura Maciel, Ph.D. Student – ISPA – Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Psicologicas, Sociais e da Vida
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Laura Maciel, Ph.D. student, Principal Investigator, Ispa – Instituto Universitário
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Laura Maciel, +351966237584,

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