|Health Factors:||Family & Social Support|
|Decision Makers:||Local Government State Government Federal Government Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates|
|Population Reach:||1-9% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
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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).
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).
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).
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