Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of one short-term training model, Parents and Children Together (PACT), on parent stress and child behavior for families enrolled in the Head Start program. PACT is a program of structured play activities designed to replicate the interactions between parents and children during the first developmental stage of life. PACT has been adapted, by the researcher, from a program called Theraplay developed for Head Start children by Ann Jernberg (1967).;Thirty families completed the study. Experimental and Control groups were formed from volunteer participants. Only Experimental subjects received training. Sessions were held weekly for one hour on site. Parents and children participated together for the first thirty minutes and parents met without children for the second thirty minutes.;Pre and post treatment assessment with Abidin's Parent Stress Index/Short Form and the Connors' Parent Rating Scale - 48 were administered to each group. The results of this study did not find statistical significance on measures of parent stress and child behavior; however, structured interviews with Experimental subjects indicated high satisfaction with the program.;This study offers an examination of one short term preventive model for community-based mental health services. Implications for multi-disciplinary service delivery are examined.



© The Author