‘Living with Teenagers’: feasibility study of a peer-led parenting intervention for socially disadvantaged families with adolescent children

Daniel Michelson, Ilan Ben-Zion, Alana James, Lucy Draper, Crispin Day, Caroline Penney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To develop and test the feasibility of a peer-led parenting intervention for parents of adolescent children.
Design: Formative evaluation using a mixed-method cohort design.
Setting: Socially deprived community sites in London, UK.
Participants: Parents seeking help with managing behavioural difficulties of an index adolescent child (aged 11–17 years).
Intervention: A structured, group-based intervention (‘Living with Teenagers’) delivered by trained peer facilitators.
Main outcome measures: We assessed feasibility in terms of uptake and completion rates (% parents completing ≥5 sessions); social validity (assessed by
service satisfaction measure and participant interviews); and potential for impact (assessed by parent-reported measures of adolescent behaviour and mental health, parenting satisfaction, expressed emotion, and disciplinary practices).
Results: Participants (n=41) were predominately (79%) from minority ethnic backgrounds and nearly half were lone parents. Most had not previously accessed a structured parenting programme. The completion rate was 71%. Significant changes (p<0.05) were observed in reduced parental concern about adolescent problems, increased parenting satisfaction and less negative
expressed emotion. There were non-significant changes in disciplinary practices and adolescent mental health. Participants were highly satisfied with their service
experience and endorsed the acceptability of the intervention’s content, materials and peer-led format, while suggesting an expanded number of sessions and more skills practice and demonstrations.
Conclusions: Peer-led parenting groups are feasible and potentially effective for supporting parents of adolescents living in socially disadvantaged communities. These findings warrant more rigorous testing under controlled conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2014

Cite this