a1 James Cook University. Alan.Ralph@jcu.edu.au
a2 James Cook University.
a3 James Cook University.
a4 James Cook University.
a5 James Cook University.
Forty parents of children aged between 1 and 8 years were recruited by means of an exhaustive telephone survey of a defined suburban area in regional Queensland. Following recruitment, parents were mailed a family survey comprising measures of parenting and child behaviour problems. The sample represents almost 50% of parents of young children in the defined area. Forty-four per cent of parents in the sample reported numbers of child behaviours as problems that exceeded recommended clinical cut-off scores based on data reported in other studies. Thirty per cent of parents reported problems occurring at an intensity that exceeded clinical cut-off scores. Fathers who completed the questionnaires reported significantly more problems than mothers, although the ratio of mothers to fathers in the sample was 3:1. However, there was no difference between the reported behaviours of boys or girls. Parent characteristics that were highly correlated with reported child behaviour problems were overreactivity; stress, anxiety, and depression; and parental satisfaction with their parenting style. Family and other demographic variables appeared to play less significant roles. The results are discussed in the context of the challenge of delivering effective early-intervention parenting programs to large numbers of parents.
c1 Address for correspondence: Alan Ralph, School of Psychology, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811.