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Group-based parenting programs

Health Factors: Family & Social Support
Decision Makers: Local Government State Government Federal Government Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 1-9% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Group-based parenting programs use standardized curriculums to teach parenting skills in a group setting. Such programs are usually based on behavioral or cognitive-behavioral approaches and targeted at parents whose children display aggressive and disruptive behaviors, possess low self-esteem or poor social skills. Participants’ children are often at risk of, or diagnosed with, Conduct Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (Cochrane-Furlong 2012).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Improved child behavior
Improved mental health
Improved parenting
Improved child development
Improved parent-child interaction

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that group-based parenting programs reduce conduct, behavioral (Cochrane-Furlong 2012, Cochrane-Barlow 2010, Dretzke 2009, Lundahl 2006), and emotional problems (Cochrane-Barlow 2010) among participants’ children. Such programs also improve mental health (Cochrane-Furlong 2012, Cochrane-Barlow 2014, Pinquart 2010), increase positive parenting skills, and decrease harsh parenting practices for parents in the short-term (Cochrane-Furlong 2012). Additional evidence is needed to determine long-term effects.

Group-based parenting programs using behavioral and cognitive-behavioral interventions have been shown to reduce conduct problems in children aged 3 to 12 (Cochrane-Furlong 2012) and children under the age of 4 at risk for these problems (Cochrane-Barlow 2010). Such programs also reduce stress, depression, and anxiety for participating parents in the short-term (Cochrane-Furlong 2012, Cochrane-Barlow 2014, Pinquart 2010).

Prenatal and postnatal education programs for new parents appear to improve a range of outcomes including parenting skills, children’s development, and parents’ and children’s mental health, although group interventions often have smaller effects than individual interventions (Pinquart 2010). Group parenting programs appear to be least effective for economically disadvantaged families, who also benefit more from individual interventions (Lundahl 2006).

Group programs for teenage parents can lead to improvements in parent-child interactions (Cochrane-Barlow 2011). A review of one program, Triple P, has shown greater effects for mothers than fathers (Fletcher 2011). Overall, programs with a longer duration appear to be more effective than shorter programs (Cochrane-Barlow 2010, Pinquart 2010). However, effectiveness may decrease when programs exceed 6 months (Pinquart 2010); additional research is needed to determine long-term effects.

Group-based parenting programs have been shown to be cost-effective in children 3 to 12 years old with clinical levels of conduct problems (Cochrane-Furlong 2012).

Implementation

United States

There are many different parenting programs. As of April 2015, SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Policies (SAMHSA-NREPP) included over 50 parenting interventions related to mental health promotion and treatment for parents and/or children. The Incredible Years and Triple P - Positive Parenting Program are examples of programs that received favorable NREPP ratings for both quality of research and readiness for dissemination. You can learn more about NREPP’s ratings on their website (SAMHSA-NREPP Methods).

Implementation Resources

CEBC - California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC). Information and resources for child welfare professionals: List of programs. Accessed on March 17, 2017
SAMHSA-NREPP - SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Accessed on April 12, 2017
US DHHS-PEP - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS). Child Welfare Information Gateway. Parent education programs (PEP). Accessed on March 13, 2017

Citations - Description

Cochrane-Furlong 2012* - Furlong M, McGilloway S, Bywater T, et al. Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural group-based parenting programmes for early-onset conduct problems in children aged 3 to 12 years. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2012;(2):CD008225. Accessed on December 10, 2015

Citations - Evidence

Cochrane-Barlow 2010* - Barlow J, Smailagic N, Ferriter M, Bennett C, Jones H. Group-based parent-training programmes for improving emotional and behavioural adjustment in children from birth to three years old. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2010;(3):CD003680. Accessed on December 8, 2015
Cochrane-Barlow 2011* - Barlow J, Smailagic N, Bennett C, et al. Individual and group based parenting programmes for improving psychosocial outcomes for teenage parents and their children. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2011;(3):CD002964. Accessed on November 24, 2015
Cochrane-Barlow 2014* - Barlow J, Smailagic N, Huband N, Roloff V, Bennett C. Group-based parent training programmes for improving parental psychosocial health. 2014;(5):CD002020. Accessed on February 16, 2016
Cochrane-Furlong 2012* - Furlong M, McGilloway S, Bywater T, et al. Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural group-based parenting programmes for early-onset conduct problems in children aged 3 to 12 years. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2012;(2):CD008225. Accessed on December 10, 2015
Dretzke 2009 - Dretzke J, Davenport C, Frew E, et al. The clinical effectiveness of different parenting programmes for children with conduct problems: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Child Adolescent Psychiatry Mental Health. 2009;3(1):7. Accessed on December 16, 2015
Fletcher 2011* - Fletcher R, Freeman E, Matthey S. The impact of behavioral parent training of fathers’ parenting: A meta-analysis of the Triple P-Positive Parenting program. Fathering. 2011;9(3):291–312. Accessed on January 25, 2016
Lundahl 2006* - Lundahl B, Risser HJ, Lovejoy MC. A meta-analysis of parent training: moderators and follow-up effects. Clinical Psychology Review. 2006;26(1):86–104. Accessed on November 19, 2015
Pinquart 2010* - Pinquart M, Teubert D. Effects of parenting education with expectant and new parents: A meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology. 2010;24(3):316–27. Accessed on November 9, 2015

Citations - Implementation

SAMHSA-NREPP - SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Accessed on April 12, 2017
SAMHSA-NREPP Methods - SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Reviews & submissions. Accessed on November 17, 2015

Page Last Updated

April 21, 2016

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