Community Parent Education Programme (COPE) - a large-group community-based programme for parents of children with behavioural disorder symptoms

At a glance

Country of origin

  • Sweden

Last reviewed:

Age group
0-5 years
6-10 years
11-14 years
Target group
Parents of children who have symptoms or a diagnosis of behavioural disorders
Programme setting(s)
Community

Level(s) of intervention

  • Indicated prevention,
  • Selective prevention

COPE is a manualised large-group community-based parent education programme. Groups can consist of 25-30 parents who meet with one or two trained group leaders for weekly 2-hour sessions over 10 weeks. The programme is mostly participant-driven and includes review and discussion within subgroups.

A new strategy is taught at each session, including strategies for giving attention to positive behaviour, balancing time and attention among siblings, ignoring minor disruptions, managing transitions, planning ahead and using reward systems. Parents are also taught a general approach to child management problems, referred to as PASTE-ing problems.

Keywords

No data

Links to this programme in other registries

Implementation Experiences

Read the experiences of people who have implemented this programme.

Contact details

Charles E. Cunningham, PhD. Professor
Jack Laidlaw Chair in Patient-Centered Health Care of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences McMaster University
Email: cunnic[a]hhsc.ca
Phone number: 905-521-2100, extension 77307
Website: http://www.rfts.ca/cope/index.html

Overview of results from the European studies

Studies overview

The programme has been evaluated in one quasi-experimental study in Sweden with 133 families. The study had four group, one of which was a control group, while the other three groups received the intervention but were different in the behaviour symptoms the children displayed: clinical, nonclinical high level, nonclinical low level. The study indicated that COPE significantly reduced behaviour problems (ODD symptoms and hyperactivity/impulsivity) for children with high levels of problems, compared to the control group, but not low symptom or clinical groups. There was no effect on inattention, social competence deficits or peer problems. In terms of parent outcomes (stress and perceived parental control), both the nonclinical groups showed significant improvements compared to the control, but not the clinical group.

Click here to see the reference list of studies

Countries where evaluated

  • Sweden

Characteristics

Protective factor(s) addressed

  • No defined protective factors

Risk factor(s) addressed

  • Family: family management problems

Outcomes targeted

  • Other behaviour outcomes

Description of programme

COPE is a manualised large-group community-based parent education programme. Groups can consist of 25-30 parents who meet with one or two trained group leaders for weekly 2-hour sessions over 10 weeks.

To allow active participation, parents are divided into subgroups (5-7 members in each) and seated around separate tables. The programme is, to a large extent, participant-driven and discussions are held both within the subgroups and in the large group. Each meeting is structured and includes the following phases: 1) informal social activities; 2) review of homework in subgroups; 3) large-group discussions of homework projects; 4) subgroups formulate solutions to videotaped vignettes of a problematic situation; 5) large-group discussions of proposed solutions; 6) leader models group’s solution; 7) subgroups brainstorm application; 8) dyads rehearse strategies; 9) homework planning; and 10) leader summarizes and closes session.

At each session, a new strategy is taught. The COPE programme, for example, included strategies for giving attention to positive behaviour, balancing time and attention among siblings, ignoring minor disruptions, managing transitions, planning ahead and using reward systems. The parents are also taught the general approach to child management problems, referred to as PASTE-ing problems. This includes: (P) picking one soluble problem, (A) analysing the advantages and disadvantages of alternative solutions, (S) selecting the most promising alternative, (T) Trying it out, and (E) evaluating the outcome.

Implementation Experiences

No implementations available.
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