Positive Impact of Education Class for Parents with Adverse Childhood Experiences on Child Behavior

Hannah Giunta, Magdalena Romanowicz, Amy Baker, Peggy O’toole-Martin, Brian A. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is a need for community-based parent education programs that strengthen the parent–child relationship and mitigate the negative impact of parental adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on child social-emotional development. Objective: To examine whether a community-based parent education program can improve children’s social-emotional development. Methods: This was a prospective observational study of a series of community education parenting classes in Rochester, Minnesota. Group classes were delivered weekly for three months. Classes used Dr. Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline Program. Parents of children ages 2 to 5 years and identified as at risk of poor social-emotional outcomes based on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional 2 (ASQ:SE2) score were eligible to participate. Results: There were 39 child–parent dyads who enrolled. Parental ACEs scores ranged from 0 to 6 with a median of 1.5 (interquartile range, 0–3, N = 34). In the 33 children with both before and after ASQ:SE2 tests available, there was a significant decrease in the post-ASQ:SE2 score compared with the pre-ASQ:SE2 score (mean difference, −30.3; 95% confidence interval, CI –42.2 to −18.4; p < 0.001) where lower scores are associated with less social-emotional impairment. There was no significant association in the change of pre-post ASQ:SE2 scores as parents’ ACEs scores increased (estimated slope, 3.1; 95% CI −3.7 to 9.9; p = 0.36). Conclusions: Community-based, parent education interven-tions can improve child social-emotional development. This program using Dr. Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline Program improved ASQ-SE scores, regardless of parental ACEs exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Anthropology
  • Caregivers
  • Child Development
  • Child Rearing
  • Community health partnerships
  • Community health research
  • Education
  • Education
  • Family Health
  • Growth and Development
  • Health disparities
  • Human Development
  • Mental Health
  • Physiological Processes
  • Schools
  • Social Conditions
  • Sociology and Social Phenomena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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