Childrens’ behaviour problems’ and parents’ parenting behaviour changes after participation in a modified multimodal early intervention program “STOP 4–7”


  • Inese Lapsiņa University of Latvia
  • Asanta Agne Miesniece University of Latvia
  • Ieva Bite University of Latvia



behaviour problems, externalizing behaviour, parenting behaviour


The aim of this study was to examine reported changes in children’s behaviour after the children, parents and teachers had participated in the modified early intervention program “STOP 4–7”, which has been developed for children 4 to 7 years old. The aim was also to examine if there are changes in the parents’ parenting behaviour, and if there are differences in the degree of behavioural change ratings between the original and modified “STOP 4–7” groups. For purposes of this study 31 children participated in the first group and 48 children in the second group, as well as at least one of the child’s parents and their teacher. Before and after participation in the program, one of the child’s parents and their teacher completed questionnaires about the child’s behaviour. Parents also completed the Ghent Parental Behaviour Scale. Results show that after participation in the program, in both groups there was a decrease in the child’s externalizing behaviour problems, according to both the parents’ and teachers’ report. After participation in the modified program there was an increase in the parents’ report of discipline strategies and material reward ratings.


Achenbach, T., Becker, A., Döpfner, M., Heiervang, E., Roessner, V., Steinhausen, H., & Rothenberger, A. (2008). Multicultural assessment of child and adolescent psychopathology with ASEBA and SDQ instruments: Research findings, applications and future directions. Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 251–275.

Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, S. C. (1978). The classification of child psychopathology: A review and analysis of empirical efforts. Psychological Bulletin, 85(6), 1275–1301.

Achenbach, T. M., Ivanova, Y. M., Rescorla, A. L., Turner, V. L., & Althoff, R. R. (2016). Internalizing/externalizing problems: Review and recommendations for clinical and research applications. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(8), 647–656.

Baker, S., & Sanders, M. R. (2017). Predictors of program use and child and parent outcomes of a brief online parenting intervention. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 48, 807–817.

Brown, M. S., Doom, R. J., Lechuga-Peña, Watamura, E. S., & Koppels, T. (2020). Stress and parenting during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Child Abuse & Neglect, 110, 104699.

Day, J. J., Baker, S., Dittman, C. K., Franke, N., Hinton, S., Love, S., Sanders, M. R., & Turner, K. M. T. (2021). Predicting positive outcomes and successful completion in an online parenting program for parents of children with disruptive behavior: An integrated data analysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 146, 103951.

De Mey, W., & Braet, C. (2011). “STOP 4–7”, an early intervention for children with behavioural disorders: Client characteristics and preliminary findings. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8(2), 203–214.

Dishion, T. J., & Patterson, G. R. (2015). The development and ecology of antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. In: Cicchetti, D. & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), Developmental Psychopathology: Volume Three: Risk, Disorder, and Adaptation, Second Edition (pp. 503–541). Wiley Editors.

Duncombe, E. M., Havighurst, S. S., Kehoe, E. C., Holland, A. K., Frankling, J. E., & Stargatt, R. (2016). Comparing an Emotion- and a Behavior-Focused Parenting Program as part of a Multsystemic intervention for child conduct problems. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 45(3), 320–334.

Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., Spinrad, T. L., Liew, J., Zhou, Q., Losoya, S. H., Reiser, M., & Cumberland, A. (2009). Longitudinal relations of children’s effortful control, impulsivity, and negative emotionality to their externalizing, internalizing, and co occurring behavior problems. Developmental Psychology Journal, 45(4), 988–1008.

Enebrink, P., Högström, J., Forster, M., & Ghaderi, A. (2012). Internet-based parent management training: A randomized controlled study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50, 240–249.

Florean, S. I., Dobrean, A., Păsărelu, R. C., Georgescu, D. R., & Milea, I. (2020). The efficacy of internet-based parenting programs for children and adolescents with behavior problems: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 23, 510–528.

Forehand, R., Jones, D. J., & Parent, J. (2013). Behavioral parenting interventions for child disruptive behaviors and anxiety: What’s different and what’s the same. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 133–145.

Frick, P. J., & Morris, A. S. (2004). Temperament and developmental pathways to conduct problems. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 54–68.

Gach, E. J., Ip, K., Sameroff, A. J., & Olson, S. L. (2018). Early cumulative risk predicts externalizing behavior at age 10: The mediationg role of adverse parenting. Journal of Family Psychology, 32(1), 92–102.

Gardner, F., & Leijten, P. (2017). Incredible Years parenting interventions: current effectiveness research and future directions. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 99–104.

Gershoff, E. T., Sattler, K. M. P., & Ansari, A. (2017). Strengthening Causal Estimates for Links Between Spanking and Children’s Externalizing Behavior Problems. Psychological Science, 1–11.

Ghandor, R. M., Sherman, L. J., Vladutiu, C. J., Ali, M. M., Lynch, S. E., Bitsko, R. H., Blumberg, S. J. (2018). Prevalence and Treatment of Depression, Anxiety, and Conduct Problems un US Children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 206, 256–267.

Hails, A. K., Petts, A. R., Hostutler, A. C., Simoni, M., Greene, R., Snider, C. T., & Riley, R. A. (2021). COVID-19 distress, negative parenting, and child behavioral problems: The moderating role of parent adverse childhood experiences. Child Abuse & Neglect, 105450.

Hunt, T. K. A., Berger, L. M., & Slack, K. S. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences and behavioral problems in middle childhood. Child Abuse & Neglect, 2–12.

Kaminski, J. W., Valle, L. A., Filene, J. H., & Boyle, C. L. (2008). A meta-analytic review of components associated with parent training program effectiveness. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 567–589.

Kazdin, A. E. (1997). Parent Management Training: Evidence, Outcomes, and Issues. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1349–1356.

Leijten, P., Gardner, F., Melendez-Torres, G. J., van Aar, J., Hutchings, J., Schulz, S., Knerr, W., & Overbeek, G. (2019). Meta-analyses: Key parenting program components for disruptive child behavior. Journal of the American Academy in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(2), 180–190.

Ma, J., Lee, J. S., & Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and spanking have similar associations with early behavior problems. Journal of Pediactrics, 235, 170–177.

Maag, J. W., & Katsiyannis, A. (2010). Early intervention programs for children with behavior problems and at risk for developing antisocial behaviors: Evidence and research-based practices. Remedial and Special Education, 31(6), 464–475.

Major, O. S., Seabra-Sanots, J. M., & Martin, P. R. (2015). Are we talking about the same child? Parent–teacher ratings of preschoolers’ social–emotional behaviors. Psychology in the Schools, 52(8), 789–799.

Marcone, R., Affuso, G., & Borrone, A. (2017). Parenting styles and children’s internalizing-externalizing behavior: The mediating role of behavioral regulation. Current Psychology, 39, 13–24.

Matthys, W. & Lochman, E. J. (2010). Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder in Childhood. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

McKee, L., Colletti, C., Rakow, A., Jones, J. D., & Forehand, R. (2008). Parenting and child externalizing behaviors: Are the associations specific or diffuse. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13(3), 201–215.

McMahon, R. J., Wells, K. C., & Kotler, J. S. (2006). Conduct Problems. In: E. J. Mash & R.A. Barkley (Eds.), Treatment of childhood disorders (pp. 137−268). 3rd ed. New York: Guilford Press.

Menting, A. T. A., Orobio de Castro, B., & Matthys, W. (2013). Effectiveness of the Incredible Years parent training to modify disruptive and prosocial child behavior: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 901–913.

Olson, S. L., Choe, D. E., & Sameroff, A. J. (2017). Trajectories of child externalizing pro­blems between ages 3 and 10 years: Contributions of children’s early effortful control, theory of mind, and parenting experiences. Development and Psychopathology, 29(4), 1333–1351.

Pearl, E. S. (2009). Parent management training for reducing oppositional and aggressive behavior in preschoolers. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14, 295–305.

Pinquart, M. (2017). Associations of parenting dimensions and styles with externalizing problems of children and adolescents: An updated meta-analysis. Developmental Psychology, 53(5), 873–932.

Piquero, A. R., Jennings, W. G., Diamond, B., Farrington, D. P., Tremblay, R. E., Welsch, B. C., & Reingle Gonzalez, J. M. (2016). A meta-analysis update on the effects of early family/parenting training programs on antisocial behavior and delinquency. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 12, 229–249.

Power, T. G. (2013). Parenting dimensions and styles: A brief history and recommendations for future research. Childhood Obesity, 9(1), 14–21.

Prinz, J. R., Metzler, W. C., Sanders, M. R., Rusby, C. J., & Cai, C. (2022). Online-delivered parenting intervention for young children with disruptive behavior problems: a noninferiority trial focused on child and parent outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 63(2), 199–209.

Sayal, K., Washbrook, E., & Propper, C. (2015). Childhood behavior problems and academic outcomes in adolescence: Longitudinal population-based study. Journal of American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(5), 360–368.

Skreitule-Pikše, I., Bite, I., Sebre, S., Raščevska, M., Koļesovs, A. &, Ļubenko, J. (2013). Ahenbaha bērna uzvedības novērtēšanas aptaujas (CBCL/6-18, TRF, YSR) interpretācijas rokasgrāmata. Rīga: LU, VISC.

Skuse, D., Burce, H., & Dowdney, L. (Eds.) (2017). Child psychology and psychiatry. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.

Slagt, M., Dubas, J. S., Dekovic, M., & van Aken, M. A. G. (2016). Differences in sensitivity to parenting depending on child temperament: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 142(10), 1068–1110.

Smetana, J. G. (2017). Current research on parenting styles, dimensions, and beliefs. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 19–25.

Sourander, A., Ristkari, T., Kurki, M., Gilbert, S., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäk, S., Kinnunen, M., Pulkki-Råback, L., & McGrath, P. (2022). Effectiveness fan internet-based and telephone-assisted training for parent of 4-year-old children with disruptive behavior: Implementation research. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24(4), e27990.

Spencer, C. M., Topham, G. L., & King, E. L. (2020). Do online parenting programms create a change? A meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 34(3), 364–374.

Tremblay, R. E. (2010). Developmental origins of disruptive behaviour problems: the original sin hypothesis, epigenetics and their consequences for prevention. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(4), 341–367.

Tremblay, R. E. (2006). Prevention of youth violence: Why not start at the beginning? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 481–487.

Van Aar, J., Leijten, P., Orobio de Castro, B., & Overbeek, G. (2017). Sustained, fade-out or sleeper effects? A systematic review and meta-analysis of parenting interventions for disruptive child behavior. Clinical Psychology Review, 51, 153–163.

Van Leeuwen, K. G., & Vermulst, A. A. (2004). Some psychometric properties of the Ghent Parental Behavior Scale. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 20(4), 283–298.

Waller, R., Hyde, L. W., Grabell, A. S., Alve, M. L., & Olson, S. L. (2015). Differential associations of early callous-unemotional, oppositional, and ADHD behaviors: multiple domains within early-starting conduct problems? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(6), 657–666.

Weber, L., Kamp-Becker, I., Christiansen, H., & Mingebach, T. (2018). Treatment of child externalizing behavior problems: a comprehensive review and meta–meta‐analysis on effects of parent‐based interventions on parental characteristics. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(8), 1025–1036.

Webster-Stratton, C., Reid, M. J., & Hammond, M. (2010). Treating children with early onset conduct problems: Intervention outcomes for parent, child, and teacher training. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33(1), 105–124.

Webster-Stratton, C. (2008). The incredible years: Parents, teachers, and children training series. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 18(3), 31–45.

Weeks, M., Ploubidis, G. B., Cairner, J., Wild, C. T., Naicker, K., & Colman, I. (2016). Developmental pathways linking childhood and adolescent internalizing, externalizing, academic competence, and adolescent depression. Journal of Adolescence, 51, 30–40.

Wichstrøm, L., Berg-Nielsen, T. S., Angold, A., Egger, H. L., Soleim E., & Sveen, T. H. (2012). Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in preschoolers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(6), 695–705.

Willner, J. C., Gatzke-Kopp, M. L., & Bray, C. B. (2016). The dynamics of internalizing and externalizing comorbidity across the early school years. Development and Psychopathology, 28(4), 1033–1052.

Yan, N., Peng, P., & Ansari, A. (2021). Reconsidering the relation between parental functioning and child externalizing behaviors: A meta-analysis on childdriven effects. Journal of Family Psychology, 35(2), 225–235.

Zahn-Waxler, C. & Klimes-Dougan, B. (2000). Internalizing problems of childhood and adolescence: Prospects, pitfalls, and progress in understanding the development of anxiety and depression. Development and Psychopathology, 12(3), 443–466.




How to Cite

Lapsiņa, I., Miesniece, A. A., & Bite, I. (2022). Childrens’ behaviour problems’ and parents’ parenting behaviour changes after participation in a modified multimodal early intervention program “STOP 4–7”. Baltic Journal of Psychology, 23(1/2), 84–105.