Cultural adaptation of an evidence‐based parenting programme with elders from South East Asia in the US: co‐producing Families and Schools Together – FAST

Lynn McDonald (Based in the Department of Social Work and Mental Health, Middlesex University, London, UK)
Gail Coover (Based at University of Wisconsin‐Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
Jen Sandler (Based in the Education Department, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA)
Toua Thao (based at University of Wisconsin‐Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
Huda Shalhoub (Based at Innerscope Research, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Publication date: 15 June 2012

Abstract

Purpose

Without some flexibility, replications of manualised evidence‐based programmes (EBP) may not achieve predictable outcomes due to differences in cultural priorities. In this case study, Families and Schools Together (FAST) was co‐produced with elders from a community of Hmong political refugees in the US Mid‐West. The paper aims to describe and evaluate the process of culturally adapting and implementing this universal parenting programme.

Design/methodology/approach

Observations of FAST groups to monitor programme integrity and notes on adaptation discussions were undertaken. Quantitative evaluations of parents in the first cohort (2 FAST groups) used a wait‐list control, randomised strategy, using three standardised instruments completed by the parents three different times. Data from five matched pairs of parent graduates (10) randomly assigned to “FAST now” or “FAST later” were analysed using one‐tailed, paired t‐tests.

Findings

Hmong parents and elders reported satisfaction on the cultural fit of FAST across the four groups, which graduated on average seven families each. Of 38 low‐income families who attended FAST once, 78 percent attended six or more sessions, in other words 22 percent dropped out. Parents reported statistically significant improvements in child anxiety (CBCL internalizing), child social skills (SSRS) and family adaptability (FACES II), with no changes in CBCL externalizing or family cohesion.

Originality/value

The paper provides a detailed study and evaluation of how an EBP can be successfully implemented with a highly socially marginalized group of immigrants in a Western society.

Keywords

Citation

McDonald, L., Coover, G., Sandler, J., Thao, T. and Shalhoub, H. (2012), "Cultural adaptation of an evidence‐based parenting programme with elders from South East Asia in the US: co‐producing Families and Schools Together – FAST", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 113-127. https://doi.org/10.1108/17466661211238673

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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