Dacey, J. S., Brion-Meisels, S., & Fiore, L. B. (2016). Your childs social and emotional well-being: A complete guide for parents and those who help them. Chichester, England: Wiley Blackwell.
The book demonstrates how to foster social and emotional learning (SEL) at home and in the classroom, and shows how parents and professionals can work together for success Includes a wealth of exercises for promoting social and emotional wellbeing, along with tips, tools, and coverage of new developments.
Parent involvement in treatment can enhance treatment effects and help parents to change dysfunctional parent-child interactions when the children face social situations. Garcia-Lopez et al.’s (2014) study was a quantitative study that showed interventions, post-treatment, and follow-up for children’s SAD. The anxiety and expressed emotion in children and parents were measured through semi-structured audiotaped interviews, which increased the validity of the method. The participants of Garcia-Lopez et al.’s study were comprised of 52 adolescents with SAD aged 13-18, all with social phobia. Garcia-Lopez et al. chose two groups: one group with parents’ training and intervention for parents, and the other group without parents’ training and intervention for parents. Garcia-Lopez et al. used semi-structured interviews for the diagnostic measures before and after treatment. The study includes four stages: screening, pre-treatment, post-treatment, and a 12-month follow-up assessment in the school environment. Finally, Garcia-Lopez et al. compared two groups with each other. Data revealed that children with parents’ training reported greater improvement in SAD. Parents’ training not only resulted in reductions in Social Anxiety symptomatology but also resulted in a similar decrease in depression symptomatology.
When the main reason for social anxiety in children is their parents’ behavior, it is obvious that parents need supports and interventions to help their children with SAD. Garcia-Lopez et al. used post-treatment and 12-month follow-up, which could help them to draw more consistent conclusions according to follow-up results. One of the most important weaknesses in Garcia-Lopez et al.’s work was that only child measures were used to evaluate treatment outcomes and they did not measure parents’ EE levels again. As children with Social Anxiety present substantially increased risks of depression, suicide attempts, substance abuse, severe social restriction, and lower educational attainment, Garcia-Lopez et al. suggested that high EE-parents of children with Social Anxiety need to be involved in their child’s therapy.
Parents with a high level of Expressed Emotion (EE) such as criticism and/or hostility need training to improve the outcome for alleviating their children’s social anxiety.
Garcia-Lopez, Díaz-Castela, Muela-Martinez, and Espinosa-Fernandez’s (2014) findings revealed that parents’ high level of EE was significantly associated with their children’s poor treatment outcomes. Indeed, it is important to identify the parents with behaviours that affect their children’s SAD and to help the parents to eliminate the problem related to their behaviours. Because parental high EE has been found to be related to the treatment outcome in socially anxious children, Garcia-Lopez et al.’s research aim to examine whether adding a parent training intervention to decrease high levels of parental EE would improve the treatment outcome for children with SAD. Garcia-Lopez et al.’s research was a call to action for the parents with EE to receive training and interventions in order to support the improvement of their children’s social anxiety. Garcia-Lopez et al.’s study hypothesized that parents’ involvement may play important roles in improving children’s social anxiety.
Research showed that family-based intervention is an effective way to increase the positive results from treatments of children with SAD (Barrett et al., 1996; Ginsburg et al., 1995). When parents’ behaviour is considered a risk factor for their children’s SAD, the most effective alternative for supporting children with SAD is to train their parents (Garcial-Lopez et al., 2014). Parents might not be aware of the consequences of their behaviours, or they might not have sufficient knowledge or experience of identifying and implementing an effective strategy to support their children with SAD. Therefore, parents need either different types of resources, such as media, websites, blogs, books, or implementing a collaborative relationship with teachers to increase their knowledge about how to support their children with SAD.
Brendel and Maynard (2014) illustrated that parent-child interventions seem to be more effective than implementing interventions for only children. In other words, integrating parents into child therapy is considered as a means to generalize interventions to the home environment and for both the children and the parents to learn and practice better methods to cope with children’s SAD.