Effectiveness of Systematic Training of Effective Parenting (STEP) on Parenting Stress, Emotion Regulation, and Cognitive Flexibility on Mothers of Male Adolescents

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student, Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of STEP program on parenting stress, emotion regulation and cognitive flexibility in mothers of male adolescents in Isfahan. Method: The research method was quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest and two-month follow-up with experimental and control groups. Statistical population consisted of 123 mothers of 12- to 18-year-old male adolescents whom were referred to Yarestan Counseling Center in Isfahan in 2019. Tools: Tools were Abedin Parenting Stress Questionnaire (1990), Garnefsky's Difficulty of Emotion Regulation (2001), and Dennis and Wenderval's (2010) Cognitive Flexibility Questionnaire. 87 mothers with high parenting stress were screened and 40 mothers who met entrance criteria were randomly assigned in experimental group and control group (20 mothers each). Participants in both groups completed all of the questionnaires in three stages. The experimental group received eight session of 90-minute step-by-step training once a week. Data were analyzed using mixed ANOVA with repeated measures. Results: Results indicated that the intervention was effective on parenting stress (F = 9.87, P = 0.003), emotion regulation (F = 9.39, P = 0.004) and cognitive flexibility (F = 9.68). (P = 0.004). The effect remained stable at the follow-up stage. Conclusion: Training this program reforms mothers’ relationship with their male adolescents which leads to parental stress reduction and improves emotion regulation and cognitive flexibility. Therefore, it is an effective method to prevent or resolve the conflicts between parents and male adolescent.


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