Emotion‐oriented coping and parental competency: An evidence‐based parenting intervention for parents of children with special educational needs

Man Yee Ho and Siya Liang - Child & Family Social Work


This study examines a promising new coping and parental competency (CPC) intervention for parents of children with special educational needs that targets parents' mental health outcomes. Coping and parental competency impact parents' mental health, but no studies have rigorously assessed whether CPC is an effective strategy for cultivating emotional wellness in these parents. A seven‐week skills‐based CPC parenting programme was developed and administered in groups. One hundred twenty‐four parents in Hong Kong were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the wait‐list control group. Parents in the intervention group (a) showed reductions in depression, anxiety, and stress, (b) used fewer emotion‐oriented coping strategies and (c) exhibited an increased sense of parenting competency compared to the wait‐list control group. The serial multiple mediation of emotion‐oriented coping and parental competence in the relationship between treatment condition and mental health outcomes was found to be statistically significant. The discussion highlights the potential usefulness of a CPC intervention for populations at risk for parenting and coping challenges.