The application of positive parenting interventions to academic school readiness: A scoping review
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BACKGROUND: Positive parenting interventions were traditionally developed for use in infant and preschool mental health. However, there is increasing application to a broader range of developmental outcomes. A scoping review was conducted to map the landscape of the diverse applications of positive parenting interventions to academic school readiness. METHODS: Positive parenting interventions that took place in the early childhood period (prenatal to 6 years) and included an assessment of academic readiness were eligible (i.e., problem-solving/reasoning, language, executive functions and preacademics). The search strategy included four electronic databases from inception to July 2020 and backward/forward searching of the majority of eligible studies. Data charting was completed by double, independent reviewers and included theoretical frameworks, academic readiness outcomes, parenting behaviour targets, populations serviced and methodological approaches used. The synthesis included quantitative descriptives and tabular/visual representations. RESULTS: Ninety-nine studies met eligibility criteria. There has been a steady increase in published studies since 2005, with each academic readiness skill represented in varying proportions. Attachment theory was the most commonly referenced framework for applying interventions to academic readiness, with a more recent shift towards biobehavioural frameworks. The majority of studies included parental responsiveness as a parent behaviour target, whereas behavioural management was more commonly used with older children and/or those with social-emotional/behavioural difficulties. Most studies used a selective prevention approach, with low socioeconomic families being the most frequently studied group. Research gaps were identified in the measurement of follow-up and parenting behaviour. CONCLUSION: We discuss changing conceptualizations of academic readiness, applications to public health and practice, and future directions in research.
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