Mothers and fathers attending the international child development programme in Norway.


Fathers are understudied in parent training studies. This study investigates whether mothers and fathers benefit equally from participating in the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) implemented as a community-wide program in Norway in their parenting behavior, perceived child difficulties, and their psychosocial health. The questionnaire study used a pre-post design comparing 105 mothers and 36 fathers who attended a regular ICDP course. Results showed that the mothers and fathers differed on parenting behaviors prior to the course but showed similar changes, including on emotional and regulative aspects of parenting and autonomy supportive behaviors. However, only the mothers perceived a decrease in their child’s difficulties after the course, while the fathers showed a greater increase in behaviors assumed to support the child’s meaning making and in self-efficacy and a greater decrease in anxiety after the course. ICDP courses appear to be a useful tool for supporting both mothers and fathers in their parenting role.