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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 7: Injury Hospitilization

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Strategy. Parent Group Programs to Prevent Child Maltreatment

Approach. Conduct group-based parenting programs to improve parenting skills.

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Overview. Studies show that parent group programs have a positive effect on improving parenting skills and reducing child maltreatment.1-10

Evidence. Moderate. Group-based parenting programs appear to be effective in improving parenting skills and parent-child interaction. Programs based on this strategy are likely to work. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Caregivers: individuals involved with Child Protective Services or at-risk for child maltreatment.

Outcome.  Increase in positive parenting skills (e.g., increased problem solving, social support, attachment; fewer child protective services reports). For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM. You may also want to look at evidence that supports educational programs in other NPM topic areas that can be translated to this specific topic area.

Sample ESMs.Using the approach “Conduct group-based parenting programs,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of families participating in parent group programs to improve parenting skills.
  • Number of families served in parent group programs who have reports of child maltreatment.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of families participating in parent group programs to improve parenting skills.
  • Percent of families served in parent group programs who have reports of child maltreatment.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of mothers participating in parent group programs who showed an increase in knowledge of positive parenting behaviors.
  • Number of mothers participating in parent group programs who showed an increase in knowledge of child development.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of mothers participating in parent group programs who showed an increase in knowledge of positive parenting behaviors.
  • Percent of mothers participating in parent group programs who showed an increase in knowledge of child development.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1 Fujiwara T, Kato N, Sanders MR. Effectiveness of Group Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) in changing child behavior, parenting style, and parental adjustment: An intervention study in Japan. Journal of Child and Family Studies 2011; 20: 804–813.

2 Javier JR, Coffey DM, Schrager SM, Palinkas LA, Miranda J. Parenting intervention for prevention of behavioral problems in elementary school-age Filipino-American children: A pilot study in churches. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2016; 37: 737–745.

3 Kan ML, Feinberg ME. Can a family-focused, transition-to-parenthood program prevent parent and partner aggression among couples with young children? Violence and Victims 2014; 29: 967–980.

4 Knox M, Burkhart K, Cromly A. Supporting positive parenting in community health centers: The ACT Raising Safe Kids program. Journal of Community Psychology 2013; 41: 395–407.

5 Leijten P, Overbeek G, Janssens JMAM. Effectiveness of a parent training program in (pre)adolescence: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Adolescence 2012; 35: 833–842.

6 Portwood SG, Lambert RG, Abrams LP, Nelson EB. An evaluation of the Adults and Children Together (ACT) against violence parents raising safe kids program. The Journal of Primary Prevention 2011; 32, 14.

7 Posthumus JA, Raaijmakers MA, Maassen GH, Van Engeland H, Matthys W. Sustained effects of Incredible Years as a preventive intervention in preschool children with conduct problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2012; 40: 487–500.

8 Puffer ES, Green EP, Chase RM, Sim AL, Zayzay J, Friis E, et al. Parents make the difference: A randomized- controlled trial of a parenting intervention in Liberia. Global Mental Health 2015; 2: 1–13.

9 Runyon MK, Deblinger E, Steer RA. Group cognitive behavioral treatment for parents and children at-risk for physical abuse: An initial study. Child & Family Behavior Therapy 2010; 32: 196–218.

10 Schilling S, French B, Berkowitz SJ, Dougherthy SL, Scribano P, Wood JN. Child–Adult Relationship Enhancement in Primary Care (PriCARE): A randomized trial of a parent training for child behavior problems. Academic Pediatrics 2017; 17: 53–60.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.