• Examining Delivery Preferences and Cultural Relevance of an Evidence-Based Parenting Program in a Low-Resource Setting of Central America: Approaching Parents as Consumers.

      Mejia, A.; Calam, R.; Sanders, M.R. (2014-04)
      A culturally sensitive approach needs to be adopted in disseminating evidence-based preventive programs internationally, and very little is known about effective dissemination into low-resource settings such as low and middle income countries. Following guidelines on optimizing the fit of evidence-based parenting programs worldwide, a cultural relevance study was conducted in Panama, Central America. Parents (N = 120) from low-resource communities were surveyed to explore cultural relevance of material from the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. Intention to participate and views on delivery formats and program features were also examined. Descriptive statistics and regressions were carried out to analyze the results. Parents found program materials highly relevant and reported that they would be willing to participate in a program if one was offered. A large proportion of the sample expressed a preference for self-directed formats such as books, articles and brochures (77.6 %). Regression analyses suggested that most parents considered material as relevant, interesting and useful, regardless of other factors such as socio-economic status, gender, the level of child behavioral difficulties, parental stress, parental confidence and expectations of future behavioral problems. The study provides a potential approach for dissemination of research and offers an insight into the needs and preferences of a particular segment of the world’s population—parents in low-resource settings. Strategies for meeting the needs and preferences of these parents in terms of service delivery are discussed.
    • Examining the fit of evidence-based parenting programs in low-resource settings: A survey of practitioners in Panama.

      Mejia, A.; Calam, R.; Sanders, M.R. (2015-04)
      Several international organizations have suggested the need for disseminating existing evidence-based parenting interventions into low-resource settings of the world in order to prevent societal difficulties such as violence. Before dissemination efforts take place, it is important to examine the fit of existing interventions in these contexts. In the present study, 80 practitioners from low-resource communities in Panama, Central America, were surveyed in order to explore their views on materials, principles and strategies of an evidence-based parenting program, the Triple P Positive Parenting Program. This study is part of a larger project in which cultural relevance was also explored from parents’ perspective, instruments were translated and validated, and a RCT was carried out to determine efficacy. Practitioners in the present study were psychologists, teachers, social workers and learning disability specialists based in school settings. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data and regression analyses were carried out in order to determine whether socio-demographic variables predicted acceptability scores. Scores for cultural relevance and usefulness of the program were high. A sample of material was found to be interesting, familiar, and acceptable. All practitioners (100 %) expressed a need to implement a parenting program in their community. Only being female and greater hours of consultation per week were associated with greater acceptability. These results have the potential to inform implementation efforts in Panama and the study offers a methodology which can be used to explore the relevance of other programs in other low-resource settings.
    • Measuring parenting practices and family functioning with brief and simple instruments: Validation of the Spanish version of the PAFAS.

      Mejia, A.; Filus, A.; Calam, R.; Morawska, A.; Sanders, M.R. (2015-06)
      A set of instruments with different response formats is usually used to assess parenting practices in clinical settings and in research studies. These complex protocols can be problematic for parents with low-literacy levels. The Parenting and Family Adjustment Scales (PAFAS) is a brief, easy to read instrument that has been developed to address these concerns. The English version of this instrument suggested that it has good internal consistency (range from .70 to .96), as well as satisfactory construct and predictive validity. The aim of the present study was to explore the validity and reliability of the Spanish version of the PAFAS. A sample of 174 Spanish-speaking parents (85 % mothers; M = 37 years old; SD = 9.1) from Panama in Central America completed the instrument alongside the Parenting Scale and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). Psychometric evaluations revealed that the measure had satisfactory construct and concurrent validity as well as good internal consistency (values >.60 for all subscales) and test–retest reliability (ICC >.60 for all subscales). The PAFAS shows promise as a brief outcome measure to assess parenting practices and family functioning with Spanish-speaking parents. Potential uses of the measure and implications for further validation with diverse samples are discussed.