Effectiveness of a parental training programme in enhancing the parent-child relationship and reducing harsh parenting practices and parental stress in preparing children for their transition to primary school: A randomised controlled trial

Ho Cheung William Li, Sophia S.C. Chan, Yim Wah Mak, Tai Hing Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Entering primary school is an important childhood milestone, marking the beginning of a child's formal education. Yet the change creates a time of vulnerability for the child, the parents and the parent-child relationship. Failure to adjust to the transition may place the family in a psychologically devastating position. The aims of this study were to test the effectiveness of a parental training programme in enhancing the parent-child relationship and decreasing parental stress by reducing harsh parenting in preparing children for the transition to primary school. Methods. A randomised controlled trial incorporating a two-group pre-test and repeated post-test was conducted in one of the largest public housing estates in Hong Kong. A total of 142 parents were recruited, with 72 parents randomly assigned to the experimental group and 70 to the control group. Harsh parenting practices, parent-child relationships and parental stress were assessed. Results: In comparison to parents in the control group, those in the experimental group engaged in less harsh parenting practices and reported better parent-child relationships. However, parental stress scores did not differ significantly between the two groups. Conclusion: This study addressed a gap in the literature by examining the effectiveness of the training programme for enhancing parent-child relationship and decreasing parental stress at the time of a child's transition to primary school. The findings from this study provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the parental training programme and highlight the significance of parenting in promoting a smooth transition for children from kindergarten to primary 1. Trial registration. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01845948.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1079
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2013


  • Children
  • Harsh parenting practices
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Parental stress
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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