UAMS to help parenting education 

Program Includes Focus on Involving Fathers

Press Release

UAMS Medical Center

UAMS to Help Teachers Expand Parenting Education

Program Includes Focus on Involving Fathers

LITTLE ROCK – A team of early childhood experts from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will soon equip preschool teachers to help new parents, particularly fathers, with issues ranging from discipline to nutrition.

Regular parent-teacher interactions offer a new method for providing parenting education in small doses as opposed to a formal multi-week parenting course, said Patti Bokony, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Bokony and colleagues in the UAMS Department of Pediatrics have received a five-year grant worth more than $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families to develop and expand parent education programs that focus on teacher-parent interactions.

“These teachers have daily contact with parents, so we can prepare them to be parent educators on many topics that concern parents of children from birth to age 5,” Bokony said. “When a parent expresses a concern, the teacher will have the opportunity to share research-based parenting information with the parent.”

The parenting information for teachers is based on more than 30 years of research into parenting issues to be converted into short 5- or 10-minute briefings. “By getting good parenting information to parents in friendly, brief contacts, we can improve physical and mental outcomes for children,” Bokony said.

The effort will begin later this year with a training session for 55 teachers of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the North Little Rock School District. Other schools will be added in the future.

As part of the program, teachers also will be trained to seek opportunities for reaching out to fathers to promote their involvement, especially in situations like divorce, when the father is not in the child’s home.

An estimated 27 percent of children live in single-parent homes, while more than half of the nation’s children spend a significant part of their childhood apart from their fathers, Bokony said.

“Research findings indicate that children who live or have regular contact with their biological fathers are more likely not to be poor, less likely to use drugs, less likely to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, less likely to be victims of child abuse, and less likely to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live without their married, biological or adoptive parents,” Bokony said.

In a study of 108 fathers of children in the Arkansas Head Start program, University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) researchers found that it was primarily the father’s personal characteristics (e.g. feelings of parenting worth and personal delight in the child) that predicted how much the father read to a child or told the child stories. Involvement by both parents was shown to positively impact a child’s preparedness for entry to kindergarten.
Developing the parenting resources as part of the grant are Bokony, Nicola A. Conners, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine, and Robert Bradley, Ph.D., a professor in the Center for Applied Studies in Education at UALR and an adjunct professor of pediatrics at UAMS.


Speaking of Medical News


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • New episode of Rock the Culture podcast: Can you have hot sauce?

    In this week’s episode, Antwan & Charles provide perspective and conversation on Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival in comparison to Riverfest, UA-Little Rock’s relationship with eStem High School, and Blake’s breakdown from the Arkansas legislature. In addition, they provide rapid fire perspective on Rock Topics and discuss the differences between plant-based eating versus veganism with Dr. Tionna Jenkins, Founder of Plate It Healthy.
    • Feb 18, 2019
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: 'Safe Scootin'

    In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on UA-Little Rock’s feasibility study on football, ICE’s deportation of 21 Savage, and Little Rock’s use of Lime scooters. In addition, Antwan and Charles introduce a new segment in which they provide rapid fire perspective on Rock Topics. They also discuss fitness training with Kim Leverett, CEO of A Kick Above.
    • Feb 11, 2019
  • New episode of Out in Arkansas: T & A return from hiatus

    Out in Arkansas's hosts Traci Berry and Angie Bowen talk about all the things because all the things are LGBTQ things. They are back! Traci and Angie return from hiatus and catch up on life, politics, and more. Thank you for listening! #outinarkansas #beinggayinthesouth
    • Feb 8, 2019
  • More »

More by Crystal Wallis

Latest in Medical Community

  • UAMS earns 10-year reaccreditation

    The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) recently learned that it has been reaccredited another 10 years by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
    • Oct 16, 2007
  • UAMS performs 7,000th stem-cell transplant

    The internationally known treatment program for multiple myeloma at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) reached another milestone today (Oct. 10) as Jeffrey Zwerin of California received the 7,000th stem-cell transplant procedure perfor
    • Oct 10, 2007
  • Richard Morrison receives endowed chair

    Richard P. Morrison, M.D., today became the inaugural recipient of the Chair in Sciences Basic to Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
    • Oct 9, 2007
  • More »

Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation