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Journal cover: Journal of Children's Services

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Online from: 2006

Subject Area: Health and Social Care

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Promising parenting programmes for reducing adolescent problem behaviours

Document Information:
Title:Promising parenting programmes for reducing adolescent problem behaviours
Author(s):Kevin P. Haggerty, (Associate Director based at the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA), Anne McGlynn-Wright, (Graduate Research Assistant based at the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA), Tali Klima, (Research Scientist, based at the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.)
Citation:Kevin P. Haggerty, Anne McGlynn-Wright, Tali Klima, (2013) "Promising parenting programmes for reducing adolescent problem behaviours", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 8 Iss: 4, pp.229 - 243
Keywords:Adolescent, Evidence-based practice, Family, Parenting, Prevention, Programmes
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/JCS-04-2013-0016 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This study was supported in part by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA021737, Haggerty, PI). The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agency.

Purpose – Adolescent problem behaviours (substance use, delinquency, school dropout, pregnancy, and violence) are costly not only for individuals, but for entire communities. Policy makers and practitioners that are interested in preventing these problem behaviours are faced with many programming options. The purpose of this review is to discuss two criteria for selecting relevant parenting programmes, and provide five examples of such programmes.

Design/methodology/approach – The first criterion for programme selection is theory based. Well-supported theories, such as the social development model, have laid out key family-based risk and protective factors for problem behaviour. Programmes that target these risk and protective factors are more likely to be effective. Second, programmes should have demonstrated efficacy; these interventions have been called “evidence-based programmes” (EBP). This review highlights the importance of evidence from rigorous research designs, such as randomised clinical trials, in order to establish programme efficacy.

Findings – Nurse-Family Partnership, The Incredible Years, the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Strengthening Families 10-14, and Staying Connected with Your Teen are examined. The unique features of each programme are briefly presented. Evidence showing impact on family risk and protective factors, as well as long-term problem behaviours, is reviewed. Finally, a measure of cost effectiveness of each programme is provided.

Originality/value – The paper proposes that not all programmes are of equal value, and suggests two simple criteria for selecting a parenting programme with a high likelihood for positive outcomes. Furthermore, although this review is not exhaustive, the five examples of EBPs offer a good start for policy makers and practitioners seeking to implement effective programmes in their communities. Thus, this paper offers practical suggestions for those grappling with investments in child and adolescent programmes on the ground.

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