Elisa Rodríguez Gutiérrez1 , Juan Carlos Martín Quintana2 , Miriam Cruz Sosa2
1Univ. La Laguna, España ,2Univ. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, España
Adolescence is a developmental period that implies a series of rapid changes that might complicate the role of parents. This study evaluates changes in parental monitoring and the strategies to solve family conflicts reported by parents who participated in the "Living Adolescence in Family" program in local social services and school centers. In addition, the study analyses the moderating role of family and facilitator variables that may affect the final results. The participants were 697 parents attending the social services (438 in the intervention group and 259 in the control group) and 1283 parents from school centers (880 in the intervention group and 403 in the control group). The results showed that families from local social services decreased the amount of control and improved monitoring in education and leisure spheres as well as self-disclosure whereas the families coming from school centers improved supervision in leisure and in self-disclosure. In addition, both groups of families improved their strategies for solving family conflicts, increasing the use of integrative strategies and decreasing the use of dominant strategies. There were differences across contexts: the results of the program in the social services context differed according to the participant and professional profiles whereas program results were more homogeneous in the school context. In sum, the program appears to be an efficient work tool, both for the professionals who work with at-risk families with adolescents and for the teachers who make use of the program for families with children at risk of early school dropout.
La adolescencia es un período de desarrollo que implica una serie de cambios rápidos que podrían complicar el papel de los padres. Este estudio evalúa los cambios en la supervisión parental y en las estrategias de resolución de conflictos familiares reportados por los padres que participan en el programa "Vivir la adolescencia en familia" en los servicios sociales locales y en los centros escolares. Además, el estudio analiza el papel moderador de la familia y las variables de los facilitadores que pueden afectar a los resultados finales. Los participantes fueron 697 padres que asistieron a los servicios sociales (438 en el grupo de intervención y 259 en el grupo control) y 1283 padres de los centros escolares (880 en el grupo de intervención y 403 en el grupo de control). Los resultados mostraron que las familias de los servicios sociales locales disminuyeron el control y mejoraron en supervisión educativa y en las esferas de ocio, así como en la apertura, mientras que las familias procedentes de centros escolares mejoraron la supervisión en el ocio y en la apertura. Además, ambos grupos de familias mejoraron las estrategias de resolución de conflictos familiares, aumentando el uso de estrategias integradoras y disminuyendo el uso de estrategias dominantes. Como signo de distinción, los resultados del programa en el contexto de los servicios sociales diferían según los participantes y los perfiles profesionales, mientras que los resultados del programa fueron más homogéneos en el contexto escolar. En resumen, el programa parece ser una herramienta de trabajo eficiente, tanto para los profesionales que trabajan con las familias con hijos adolescentes en situación de riesgo como para los profesores que han realizado el programa para familias con niños en riesgo de abandono escolar temprano.
Adolescence is associated with a developmental period of rapid changes, where boys and girls present a greater level of vulnerability for risks, such as the increase for anti-social behavior and juvenile crime, drug consumption or school dropout, among others ( Arenas, Hidalgo, & Menendez, 2009 ). The level of such risks is even greater for those boys and girls from families in at-risk psychosocial contexts ( Rodrigo, Maiquez, Martin, & Byrne, 2008 ). It is well known that poor, violent neighborhoods, life stress, couple violence, low educational backgrounds and school truancy, single parenthood, parental mental-health problems and substance abuse, among others, are family conditions frequently related to inadequate parenting and poor developmental outcomes of the children (e.g., Belsky, 1980; Rogosch, Cicchetti, Shields, & Toth, 1995 ). As a result, it is important that adolescents may have access to protection factors to compensate for this vulnerability. One of these protection factors that promotes the child wellbeing is the family participation in school support ( Rodrigo, Byrne, & Rodriguez, 2013 ).
During adolescence it is necessary that families may be able to provide love, positive models for socializing, encouragement, and support, controlling children's behavior in order to foster autonomy and sense of responsibility ( Oliva, 2006 ). Specially, the family should take into account the external contexts where adolescents are involved, since the peer group and couple relationships become more and more important for their healthy development in this stage of life. For this reason, parental control becomes essential, since thanks to that, although adolescents experience with risky situations, the exposure to excessive risk is avoided ( Barber, Stoltz, & Olsen, 2005; Parra & Oliva, 2006 ). One of the dimensions of parental control is behavioral control, which may be manifested as a way of police control and/or overprotection, or on the contrary, as a more respectful kind of behavior, adapted to the need for autonomy that adolescents tend to demand ( Collins & Steinberg, 2006; Parra & Oliva, 2006 ). It is relevant for parents to manifest this supervision in their children's academic sphere, which is a positive influence for reaching higher academic grades ( Collins & Steinberg, 2006; Parra & Oliva, 2006 ) as well as in the leisure sphere, finding out what happens during evening outs for socializing ( Fletcher, Darling, & Steinberg, 1995 ). Moreover, in order to get a right degree of supervision, it is crucial to keep the channels of communication between parents and children open, encouraging a trustworthy relationship between them, since if doing so, adolescents may spontaneously disclosure their own interests and whereabouts ( Kerr & Stattin, 2000).
During this developmental stage, family conflicts play also an important role, since they mostly tend to emerge from the parents’ inability to understand adolescents’ new necessities for autonomy, which leads them to prefer to spend more time with their peers ( Rodrigo, García, Máiquez, & Triana, 2005 ). In spite of the fact that a high amount of family conflict may generate adverse effects, it really depends on the way conflicts are solved ( Rodrigo, García, Máiquez, Rodríguez, & Padrón, 2008 ). The majority of the studies have focused on three styles of problem-solving: integration or negotiation, which implies trying to understand the other and using constructive reasoning strategies which lead to commitments; domination, which implies keeping the posture without taking the other into account and expressing negative feelings and the avoidance that the denial of conflict implies ( Caughlin & Ramey, 2005; Gilani, 1999; Laursen, Coy, & Collins, 1998; Smetana, 2005 ). If the resolution is suitable, then the conflicts assume an adaptive function, since they allow parents and children to rearrange their relationships and responsibilities, getting a new relationship based on confidence, communication and tolerance ( Laursen & Collins, 2004; Steinberg, 1990 ). The positive conflict resolution leads to a decrease in discrepancy between parents's and children's points of view ( Holmbeck & Hill, 1991 ); it also allows a certain distance at a psychological level, which benefits the individualization process and the creation of the identity ( Musitu, Buelga, Lila, & Cava, 2001; Smetana, 2005 ), and provides a model for positive conflict resolution to be implemented in other conflicts ( Smetana, 2005).
In general terms, parents need support for their childrearing task. One of these ways of support is that families take part in parent education programs, where abilities as for parents as for personal life are promoted ( Rodrigo, Maiquez, & Martin, 2010 ). However, there is a lack of those programs that are based on evidence ( Rodrigo, Almeida, Spiel, & Koops, 2012 ). One of these programs is “Living Adolescence in Family” (in Spanish Vivir la adolescencia en familia), which provides psycho-educational support for parents with adolescents who want to improve family coexistence through the acquisition of parent competences from the positive parenting perspective ( Rodrigo, 2010; Rodrigo et al., 2011 ). The program is conceived as community-based intervention targeted to at-risk families, delivered by the local services to provide the most focused and longest possible service, which should be offered as close as possible to the home environment ( Rodrigo et al., 2008a,b ). The aim of the program is supporting and fostering practice in the childrearing task, as well as the positive coexistence in the family, so as to encourage parents’ and adolescents’ personal development. The program structure consists of five modules: Approaching adolescence; Beyond family conflict; Toward a healthy lifestyle in family; Adolescents’ new ways of communication , and The family–school relationship . Each one of the modules is formed by four sessions (each one lasts over an hour and a half for each week), besides a warm-up session to settle the group norms and includes an initial assessment, as well as a final lesson that includes a final assessment. The present program follows the experiential methodology, according to which parents’ are exposed to daily experience allowing them to become gradually aware of their own practices in childrearing, so as to analyze their consequences and decide personal aims for change ( Rodrigo et al., 2010a,b).
For its implementation in the Social Service context, the program was encharged by the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha , asking for the collaboration of the group program from the ULL and the ULPGC, which were in charge of its elaboration, implementation and evaluation ( Rodrigo et al., 2010a ,b). Subsequently, other social services from different zones in Spain who showed interest in the implementation of this program were contacted. Therefore, the program was carried out by Social Service professionals in Castilla la Mancha, Lleida and The Canary Islands simultaneously, since 2010 until 2014. In addition, the program has been adapted to be implemented in The Canary Islands in the context of school education, reinforcing those contents that are related to scholarship continuity, after carrying out a study which showed that school dropout is highly influenced by the family and school atmosphere ( Marchena, Alemán, Martín, & Santana, 2015 ). Board of Education of the Canary Islands Government has fostered its implementation through teachers as group facilitators from 80 Education Centers in Canarias since 2014 in collaboration with a group from ULPGC and Asociacion Hestia for family, psycho-educative and social intervention.
The main aim of the present study is to evaluate program effects in parents attending the program in two different contexts, the social services and the school centers. Two aspects were selected as targets of the intervention efforts for the present study: parental supervision and parental resolution of parent–child conflicts. Regarding parental control, it is expected an increase in the use of the positive dimensions of monitoring, with the exception of control, which is expected to experience a decrease. As for the styles of problem solving, an increase in the use of the negotiator or integrator style and a decrease in the use of the dominant style and the avoidant style are expected. The second aim is to analyze parents’ sociodemographic characteristics and facilitators’ profiles, which may affect the program results in parental control and the conflict resolution styles. Thus, we might not only know whether the program is effective or not, but also to whom it is specially beneficial ( Dekovic, Stoltz, Schuiringa, Manders, & Asscher, 2012 ). Furthermore, this kind of analysis might inform about how those aspects of the implementation, concerning participant and professional profiles may affect the program results ( Durlak & Dupre, 2008).Methods Participants
The participants from social services in the intervention group were 438 parents, with a majority of mothers (86.8%), an average age of 42.32 years, a level of risk that is divided into normal-low risk (58.4%) and medium-high risk (41.6%) (see Table 1 for further details). Participants in the control group were 259 parents who expected to take part in the program for several editions, and whose socio-demographic composition did not differ from that of the intervention group. Participants to the program were referred by the local social services or day centers for being at pre-risk or risk conditions. The geographic areas where the program was developed were Castilla la Mancha, Lleida, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
Averages and standard deviation or percentages of the socio-demographic variables of the participants from local Social Services and the School Centers.
|Social Services |
n = 438
M (SD) or %
|School Centers |
n = 1283
M (SD) or %
| Sex (mother) |
| Age (mother) |
|42.32 (7.04)||41.4 (6.6) |
|Two-parent family conditions||58.2||54.2|
|Number of children||2.49 (1.23)||2.2 (1.1)|
|Educational level (mother)|
|No studies-primary level||50.2||27|
|Educational level (father)|
|Without studies-primary studies||46||26|
| Unemployed (mother) |
The participants from the school centers were 1283, from which 1040 were mothers (81.1%) and 243 participants were fathers (18.9%) (see Table 1 for further details). They came from each one of the Canary Islands, although the majority of the participants belonged to Gran Canaria (40.8%) and Tenerife (42.2%). Participants in the intervention group were 880 parents. Participants in the control group were 403 parents who could not be a part of the program for several reasons, although their children were at risk of early school dropout. As for their socio-demographic profile they did not significantly differ from the intervention group.
Table 2 shows the profiles of the 83 facilitators that implemented the program in the local social services. The majority of the facilitators were women (84.7%) with an average age of 28.26 years; a 59.1% of facilitators have a psychosocial academic background (psychology, social worker, social educator, and sociology) and they all possess an average of 4.36 years of previous experience in family work (see Table 2 for further details).
Socio-demographic variables and the experience of the professionals who implemented the program in the Social Services.
|Facilitators (n = 83) |
M (SD) or %
|Years of previous experience||4.36 (6.53)|
|Acude a la formación inicial||86.3|
|Position held in the service|
|Social Service Technician||28.7|
|Technician from an association hired by Social Service||13.5|
The teachers’ profile who implemented the program as facilitators in the school centers is shown in Table 3 . There were 453 facilitators, since some groups made use of two facilitators. The majority of the facilitators were women (74.7% for facilitator 1 and 87.2% for facilitator 2), with an average age of 44 years (facilitator 1) and 47 years (facilitator 2). In relation to the teacher's role in the center, the commonest role was the facilitator 1 (50%) and the teacher as a tutor in facilitator 2 (44.8%) (see Table 3 for further details). On the whole, all facilitators attended the initial training workshop.
Socio-demographic variables, the role and experience of teachers who implemented the program in School Centers.
|Facilitator 1 (n = 257) |
M (SD) or %
|Facilitator 2 (n = 196) |
M (SD) or %
|Age||44 (7.67)||47 (7.4)|
|Teacher's role in the center|
|Years of teaching experience||16.5 (9.3)||19.5 (7.4)|
|Years of continuation in the center||7.9 (7.5)||8.6 (8.09)|
This section describe the instruments that have been used in the local social services and the school centers, though in both cases other instruments were also used.
Family's socio-demographic aspects : Facilitators reported on the socio-demographic profile of the participants: sex, age, residence place, number of children, couple status, family structure, individual's and partner's level of education, employment status, and economic status. In the case of the families coming from school centers, these aspects were reported by the participants themselves.
Facilitators’ identifying profile : Facilitators reported on their profile: age, sex, academic degree, workplace, and years of experience in family intervention. Exclusively for the facilitators (teachers) from the school centers, data about employment status at the center, years of teaching experience, and years of experience as a teacher in the center itself were also reported.
Questionnaire on parental supervision in adolescence (Stattin & Kerr, 2000 ). It is composed of 16 items with a Likert response scale (1 = nothing to 5 = always). As for the Spanish adaptation, the statistical program Mplus was used, from which four factors were obtained, and whose factorial loadings oscillated between .431 and .912. Considering the goodness of fit indexes were satisfactory: CMIN = 3.45; RMSEA = .07; CFI = .980; TLI = .960 and WRMR = .610. The following factors were obtained: Control (5 items) that analyzes strategies for the strict control of pernicious behavior for adolescent's well-being (e.g.,“Your child should ask for permission to go out at night, before planning with their friends”); Educational monitoring (3 items) that analyzes parents’ knowledge about the adolescents’ school activities (e.g., “Knows the school tasks that their child brings from school to work at home); Leisure monitoring (4 items), which evaluates parents’ knowledge about the adolescents’ leisure activities (e.g.,“Knows what their child does at leisure time”); Self-disclosure (4 items) which evaluates the grade of spontaneity that is used by adolescents when telling about personal experiences from daily life to their parents and their whereabouts (e.g., “Your child tells you their secrets about what they do during free time”). The overall reliability of the instrument were α = .94, oscillating between α = .73 and α = .96.
Situational questionnaire for strategies and goals for family conflict resolution ( García, 2008 ). This instrument explores the strategies and goals used, reported on a Likert scale (1 = totally disagree to 5 = totally agree) in six daily situations of conflict between parents and adolescents. The version for parents was composed by 24 items for each kind of conflict (4 for each situation). The integration or negotiation style implies fitting parents’ and adolescents’ point of view in the conflict resolution through dialog and manifestation of needs, indicating the limit points for reaching agreements for both sides. The dominant style consists of taking just their own point of view for conflict resolution into account, using power or negative feelings in order to achieve their own personal desire. The avoidant style consists of solving the problem by using indifference or calm, leaving their own point of view at second place. The reliability of the instrument was α = .91, oscillating between α = .70 and α = .95.
In both contexts a series of intensive training workshops was carried out that were organized by the coordinators of the program and where there was a discussion about the set of contents, the methodology and the implementation process of the program. After that, the groups were formed and the program started. At the same time, monitoring sessions with the facilitators took place, so as to gather information about the groups, solve doubts, etc. Eventually, a final session to close the program with the delivery of certificates and a farewell party with the participant families was carried out. Afterwards, a day with the facilitators was celebrated in order for them to get some feedback about the results of the program.Plan analysis
For the first aim, repeated ANOVAs were performed to examine differences in the analyzed dimensions between the pre-test and post-tests measurements; and in respect to the control group, using the F statistic for the interpretation of the meaning of contrast. The effect size was explored through the R 2 statistic, whose clinical relevance is considered to be negligible when R 2 < .01, low when R 2 > .01 and R 2 < .09, medium when R 2 > .09 and R 2 < .25, and high when R 2 > .25 (Cohen, 1988 ). The same kind of analysis was carried out to calculate the modulation effect of the pre-post changes according to the families’ socio-demographic characteristics and the facilitators’ profile, both in the social services and in the school centers. In those cases in which these factors had more than two levels, post hoc analysis was done, assuming equal variances through Scheffé. The statistical analysis has been made with the SPSS statistics software, version 21.Results Changes after participation in the program in the local social services and the school centers
In the local social service context, significant differences were obtained in every analyzed variable with low and medium effect sizes ( Table 4 ). In relation to parental supervision, participants have reported an increase in education and leisure monitoring as well as in self-disclosure; they also claim having decreased the degree of strict control. The results were also significant when the post-test of the intervention group was compared to the initial measure of the control group that was in a waiting list to start it. In comparison with the control group, the intervention group decreased their use of strict control ( F(1,696) = 4.02, p = .045, R 2 partial = .02 ), whereas the use of educational monitoring increased ( F(1,696) = 25.18, p = .000, R 2 partial = 1.0) and the self-disclosure (F(1,696) = 14.12, p = .000, R 2 partial = .09 ) also increased, with low and medium clinical relevance. As for the styles of conflict resolution, compared to the control group, the intervention group reported a decrease for the dominant and the avoidant style, as well as an increase on the integration style with low and medium clinical relevance. The changes affecting the control group have been noticeable, for the integration style ( F(1,696) = 19.11, p = .000, R 2 partial = .09); the dominant style (F(1,696) = 5.61, p = .018, R 2 partial = .04), and the avoidant style ( F(1,696) = 3.472, p = .05, R 2 partial = .02 ), indicating more positive findings for the intervention group, with low to medium clinical relevance.
Contrast of pre-test and post-test repeated measures in the participants referred from local Social Services.
|F(1,437)||R 2 partial|
|Control||3.96 (.93)||3.59 (.94)||13.76 ***||.09|
|Educational monitoring||3.87 (.97)||4.02 (.84)||10.38 ***||.05|
|Leisure monitoring||3.91 (.81)||4.24 (.73)||11.90 ***||.06|
|Self-disclosure||3.21 (.92)||3.69 (.96)||15.79 ***||.09|
|Integration style||3.58 (.65)||3.88 (.56)||23.40 ***||1.0|
|Dominant style||2.74 (.68)||2.55 (.69)||8.41 **||.04|
|Avoidant style||2.72 (.58)||2.66 (.56)||3.79 *||.02|
The results from the participants in the school centers indicate that significant differences have been obtained in several analyzed variables, showing positive changes ( Table 5 ). In relation to parental control, participants reported an increase in the use of leisure monitoring and self-disclosure, with low and medium clinical relevance. There was no significance difference in educational monitoring or in strict control. With respect to the styles of conflict resolution, a decrease in the dominant style and increase of the integration style and in the avoidant style, with low to medium clinical relevance were found ( Table 5 ). The control group did not differ from the intervention group in the pre-test measures and there were no significant differences between the pre-test and the post-test measures in this group.
Contrast of pre-test and post-test repeated measures in the participants from the School Centers.
|F (1,384)||R 2 partial|
|Control||5.02 (.76)||4.97 (.69)||1.69||.01|
|Educational monitoring||3.97 (.87)||4.01 (.78)||.41||.01|
|Leisure monitoring||5.19 (.78)||5.41 (.60)||9.83 **||.05|
|Self-disclosure||4.60 (.93)||4.99 (.82)||11.55 ***||.09|
|Integration style||4.06 (.74)||4.39 (.71)||13.70 ***||.09|
|Dominant style||3.14 (.89)||2.70 (.88)||29.05 ***||1.0|
|Avoidant style||2.77 (.80)||2.94 (.83)||13.18 ***||.07|
The age of parents influenced the self-disclosure ( F(1,392) = 2.33, p = .05 ), to such an extent that the older the parents were the more open-minded their adolescents were reported to be, after participating in the program (pre-test: M = 3.21, DT = .92; post-test: M = 3.42, DT = .97). In relation to family types ( F(1,436) = 3.46, p = .045), single-parent families showed the highest rate of adolescents’ disclosure after the program (pre-test: M = 3.24, DT = .86; post-test: M = 3.50, DT = .90); with respect to two-parent families (pre-test: M = 3.20, DT = .96; post-test: M = 3.30, DT = 1). The academic level seemed to influence on control (F(1,430) = 3.67, p = .05 ), since the parents without primary studies were the least inclined toward using control after the program ( pre-test: M = 4.03, DT = .95; post-test: M = 3.77, DT = .98 ), in comparison to parents with studies (pre-test: M = 3.87, DT = .91; post-test: M = 3.79, DT = .91).
The academic level influenced on the integration style ( F(1,287) = 3.76, p = .05), since the participants whose partners possessed academic titles seemed to be the most inclined for this style (pre-test: M = 3.46, DT = .65; post-test: M = 3.69, DT = .54), in relation to those parents whose partners did not possess any academic certificate (pre-test: M = 3.65, DT = .68; post-test: M = 3.72, DT = .60). As for the dominant style, the employment situation made a significant impact on the results ( F(1,429) = 4.05, p = .045), since the participants who were employed showed the lowest rate, regarding the use of this style (pre-test: M = 2.75, DT = .58; post-test: M = 2.54, DT = .51), with respect to those who did not have any job (pre-test: M = 2.75, DT = .71; post-test: M = 2.70, DT = .73). Finally, the family type showed interesting findings for the avoidant style ( F(1,436) = 3.85, p = .05), since single-parent families decreased the use of this style (pre-test: M = 2.79, DT = .61; post-test: M = 2.66, DT = .56), whereas changes were not significantly found in two-parent families (pre-test: M = 2.66, DT = .56; post-test: M = 2.65, DT = .56).The impact of the facilitator profile on the results in local social services
The changes in self-disclosure was moderated by the sex of the facilitators in the group ( F(2,305) = 3.90, p = .021); in this way the major increases were for those groups where facilitators were men and women (pre-test: M = 2.67, DT = .99; post-test: M = 3.28, DT = 1.01), in comparison to those groups whose participants were exclusively women (pre-test: M = 3.31, DT = 1; post-test: M = 3.47, DT = 1.07).
As for the integration style, the age of the facilitator was a relevant aspect ( F(1,436) = 4.57, p = .033), as it was observed that families attending groups with younger facilitators were the ones who increased their use most (pre-test: M = 3.52, DT = 0.65; post-test: M = 3.79, DT = 0.66), in comparison to the older facilitators (pre-test: M = 3.59, DT = 0.65; post-test: M = 3.71, DT = 0.52). As regards the dominant style relevant differences have been found, considering the position of the facilitator ( F(2,272) = 5.87, p = .003), and so, the families whose facilitators belonged to associations that have been hired by the service were the least inclined for this style after the program (pre-test: M = 2.76, DT = 0.44; post-test: M = 2.44, DT = 0.46), in relation to those facilitators who came from other unknown services (pre-test: M = 2.58, DT = 0.70; post-test: M = 2.47, DT = 0.67). The education of the facilitator also influenced on the dominant style ( F(2,434) = 13.60, p = .000); thus, families with facilitators who were trained in psycho-social field decreased more their support for this style (pre-test: M = 2.71, DT = 0.67; post-test: M = 2.57, DT = 0.66), in relation to those who were trained in education fields (pre-test: M = 2.84, DT = 0.70); post-test: M = 2.73, DT = 0.69). Finally, the experience of the facilitator also influenced on the dominant style ( F(12,249) = 3, p = .001), since the families with well-experienced facilitators showed the lowest rate of the dominant style after the program (pre-test: M = 2.65, DT = 0.66; post-test: M = 2.58, DT = 0.69). Lastly, the education of the facilitator influenced on the use of the avoidant style ( F(2,435) = 7.10, p = .001), the families being those whose facilitators held a degree in the psycho-social field, the ones who most diminished its use after the program (pre-test: M = 2.66, DT = 0.56; post-test: M = 2.56, DT = 0.51), in comparison to those facilitators who had a degree in education (pre-test: M = 2.78, DT = 0.59; post-test: M = 2.73, DT = 0.57).The impact of the socio-demographic characteristics of the families from school centers
As for the parental control dimensions, we do not find any significant difference in any socio-demographic variable. However, in the strategies for problem-solving, we find that in the avoider style the age become a relevant factor ( F(1,347) = 17.57, p = .01), in such a way that the mothers aged 46 years old or over claimed to use this style most of the time (pre-test: M = 2.77, DT = .83; post-test: M = 3.1, DT = .91) in respect to younger mothers aged 27–39 years old pre-test: M = 2.7, DT = .83; post-test: M = 2.95, DT = .83).The impact on the teacher's profile on the results at School Centers
The years of teaching experience showed to be relevant for the variable of self-disclosure ( F(2,293) = 3.39; p = .03 ), the families being those whose facilitators had 3–10 years of teaching experience the ones who reported less changes in disclosure after participation in the program (pre-test: M = 4.6, DT = 1.09; post-test: M = 4.8, DT = .85), in relation to those facilitators with 11–16 years of teaching experience whose families reported major changes (pre-test: M = 4.8, DT = .95; post-test: M = 5.10, DT = .60).Discussion
Overall, the findings that have been obtained in the present study showed the effectiveness of the program “Living Adolescence in Family”, both in the social service context, and in the school centers. Considering the first aim, there have been changes in every analyzed dimension for the families from local social services, As for the parental supervision dimension, relevant differences in every factor have been obtained. Taking self-disclosure into account, a high increase in its application has taken place in such a way that the families who participated in the program consider that their children have showed a greater degree of spontaneous revelation about their daily routines. In spite of the fact that this revelation is still at halfway, the level it achieved could be considered to be a success. Increasing the adolescents’ disposition to reveal their own whereabouts and activities is not a simple task, but on the contrary, requires the presence of affection and communication in the family relationship ( Kerr & Stattin, 2000 ). In addition, in the same way it is important that parents aim to decrease the use of the imposed control, which would make it possible that adolescents’ degree of autonomy could be more respected ( Ryan & Deci, 2000 ). Most of parents’ use of strict control has been linked to manifestations of depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of failure in adolescents ( Kerr & Stattin, 2000 ). Eventually, as far as monitoring is concerned, positive consequences in the two factors that are related to academic learning and leisure ( Fernández & Salvador, 1994; Ruiz de Miguel, 2001 ), which is beneficial, as it implies the fact that parents have become aware of the importance of children monitoring in both aspects.
As for the styles of family conflict resolution, in families belonging to local social services relevant differences have been found in the three styles that have been analyzed, the integration style being the one whose level has increased whereas the dominant and the avoidant style have decreased in their use. Therefore, it seems that families have managed to make use of better strategies to reach effective conflict resolutions, after participating in the program, whereas the presence of negative styles has decreased, which is very convenient for family coexistence ( Caughlin & Ramey, 2005; Rodrigo et al., 2010a,b; Smetana, 2005 ).
With respect to the participants in school centers, there have been changes in parental supervision that are related to leisure monitoring and self-disclosure, but not in strict control, or in educational monitoring. Considering the fact that these parents have children who are at risk of early school dropout, it is necessary for them to improve leisure monitoring, as well as the self-disclosure, so that they can get adolescents’ confidence for revealing their places for evening outs. Nevertheless, it would have been ideal that an increase of educational monitoring had taken place, since it is a clear indicator of continuation at school ( Marchena et al., 2015 ). This means that these parents are monitoring their child but the problem is that they keep using strict control, which indicates that they still advocate using an imposed style of monitoring although they are already trying more educative alternatives of control, as self-disclosure, which fosters responsible autonomy in adolescents ( Kerr & Stattin, 2000).
Families from local social services reported that, after the program they have increased the use of negotiation and decreased the dominant imposition of their own point of view. This is without doubt a positive point, since the right management of conflicts improves the family atmosphere that may be damaged in those families where there are cases of school dropout. However, there is an increase in the use of avoidance, which might imply a decrease in the emotional tension in the family home, although there could be risk of accumulation of unsolved conflicts ( Rodrigo et al., 2008a ,b). In sum, the improvement in monitoring and in the styles of problem solving after the program might highly influence, in turn, the improvement in adolescents’ personal competences, since these aspects are closely related ( Martin, Aleman, Marchena, & Santana, 2015a,b ).
The second aim of the present study is to discover possible moderators of the changes reported in the analysed dimensions, according to families’ and facilitators’ socio-demographic features in local social services and in the school centers. Considering these aspects is a way to broaden the existent knowledge on this area, since there are few studies analysing the user's profiles who most benefits from the program ( Dekovic et al., 2012; Durlak & Dupre, 2008; Kaminski, Vallew, Filene, & Boyle, 2008 ). In the social service group, the participant profile, which seemed to take the most advantage from the program, in terms of parental supervision, corresponds to those families with a greater condition of vulnerability (single-parent condition and lower academic formation), which reflects a positive result, since the parenting task implies a huge challenge for this kind of profile, and even more if it is considered the single-parent condition ( Byrne, Rodrigo, & Martín, 2012 ). Changes in parental supervision have been more positive for elderly parents, which indicates that they are more conscious of the importance of monitoring and communication with their children, after the program, having developed more positive parenting skills and strategies during their children's adolescent years. Considering the styles of conflict resolution they have been moderated by those families who present a higher socio-economic level, which reflects a similarity with the results obtained from some other parenting programs ( Lundhal, Risser, & Lovejoy, 2006; Reyno & McGrath, 2006 ). This can be explained by the fact that the low level of economic means constitutes a factor of social stress that might increase the use of inadequate strategies for solving conflicts. It is also relevant fact that the level of psycho-social risk of the families did not moderate the changes in single-parent families, which indicates that families have taken advantage of the program in the same way, reflecting its effectiveness for both classes of participants.
As regards the profile of the facilitators, it seems that the elderly, experienced professional who belongs to a external but related kind of service is the one who has reflected more parental changes, in comparison to other profiles ( Álvarez, 2014 ). A greater level of experience and closeness from the part of the facilitator has influenced positively the effectiveness of the program. Besides, the families who participated in the program with the help of facilitators who have a psycho-social training have improved in conflict to resolution at home. Probably, it is due to the fact that the facilitator is not only a model for families ( Máiquez, Rodrigo, Capote, & Vermaes, 2000 ), but their educational background is also helpful for encouraging change in these dimensions ( Álvarez, 2014).
We found some limitations. One is that we do not have follow-up action of the results of the program; we only have follow-up action of immediate effects. In addition, we have only the point of view of the participants, although the program evaluation design, conducted in Schools, counted on measures of teachers and students.
It is necessary to in-depth research the reasons why male parents not participate as much as do mothers in each context. To some extent, it was expected that male parents were more involved in the educational context.
In sum, the program is an effective tool for technicians social services working with families with teenagers as for teachers who implement the program with families with children at risk of early school leaving.
This result may be due to that families of schools are coming from standard contexts, with higher level of education and employment, than families of social services and therefore its situation presents less variability.Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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