Implementation of the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire to Evaluate for Disruptive Behaviors in Children and Address with Positive Parenting Tips

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Sullivan, Jasmine
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Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing , Parenting , Aggression , Parents , Child
Background: Disruptive behaviors such as consistent difficulty controlling one’s actions, vindictive, aggression towards other students, faculty, siblings, and or parents, disregard for rules, resentful, spiteful or consistent deliberate annoyance of others are common in childhood. Although disruptive behaviors are common, they should be assessed by clinicians as part of behavioral and developmental milestone screening at routine child checkups. Parents want providers advise on reducing disruptive behaviors but providers may not be as confident in addressing behavioral concerns. Objective: The goal of this project was to use the implementation of Positive Parenting Strategies based on responses from The Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ) screening tool to empower clinicians who would guide parents in using developmentally-targeted strategies to decrease disruptive behaviors in children. Methods: Research Design: This mixed methods quality improvement study utilized the APQ screening tool to assess parental parenting styles. Participants: Data was collected from October 2022- March 2023. A total of twenty parents and their respective children who scheduled visits with concern for their child’s disruptive behaviors and four health care providers participated in the study. Descriptive statistics were used to define participant demographics and APQ scores. Kruskal-Wallis rank sum tests were ran to show statistical significance of behaviors between APQ scores, gender, and medical diagnosis. A qualitative survey was used to assess for provider confidence in utilizing positive parenting strategies and APQ to address disruptive behaviors in children. Results: The study revealed a diverse range of pediatric patient demographics, with no significant correlations noted between behaviors and APQ scores for gender and diagnosis in the preschool group (.05, χ2(1) - 0.54, p - .464), and (.05, χ2(3) - 6.70, p - .082) respectively. For the school age group, a correlation was observed between behaviors and APQ scores based on gender (.05, χ2(1) - 4.13, p - .042) but not diagnosis (.05, χ2(2) - 2.23, p - .327). Qualitative analysis of open-text responses from providers revealed that the APQ tool was perceived as impractical and time consuming in daily practice, but there was a general appreciation of positive parenting strategies, and a high level of confidence in addressing disruptive behaviors in children. Conclusion: The project’s primary outcome was successful in empowering clinicians on how to guide parents in using developmentally targeted strategies to decrease disruptive behaviors in children. However, the use of the APQ screening tool did not show improved parental practices or child disruptive behaviors as it was not user friendly and found to be very time-consuming. An alternative screening tool should be considered for future studies and a longer implementation period may be required to properly evaluate the impact of Positive Parenting Techniques on child behaviors.