Behavioural and learning disorders in children tend to go hand-in-hand. But little is known about how treatments for behavioural difficulties affect children’s literacy, and vice versa. In the long-term, children with poor behaviour and learning difficulties are at high risk of doing badly in terms of school achievements. This then increases their chances of anti-social behaviour and criminality as well as affecting their long-term life outcomes.
Helping Children Achieve is one of the very few trials of parenting programmes that addresses both children’s behaviour and literacy.
What is the study trying to achieve?
The HCA trial aims to assess the effect of two interventions taking place at the same time - one tries to improve children’s conduct and the other, to improve their reading ability. The key question is can we improve the life chances and opportunities of the most disadvantaged and hard-to-reach children by intervening early.
How will this benefit parents and families?
The HCA intervention is the first in the UK and Europe to combine a parent training curriculum with a parent literacy programme. The programme guides parents towards more sensitive and positive parenting practices and help them promote their children’s literacy. Already preliminary results show a reduction of anti-social behaviour and an improvement of reading attainment in children from at-risk families.