The program uses an interactive CD–ROM in which parents view video scenes of common family problems. The program instructs parents in effective parenting skills through the use of demonstration, quizzing, repetition, rehearsal, recognition, and feedback for correct and incorrect answers. For instance, for each problem, parents choose one of several solutions, only one of which is an effective and adaptive method of dealing with the problem. After choosing a solution, a parent sees the chosen solution acted out in the video. The parent then receives feedback through an on-screen question-and-answer format that explains any problems associated with the selected solution as well as why the common mistakes in parenting portrayed in the incorrect solutions lead to difficulties. If the correct solution is chosen, the parent receives feedback on specific skills used in that situation that made it effective. Finally, several review questions follow the feedback to further reinforce the skills. After completing the review questions, the parent moves to the next problem. The video program covers communication skills, problem-solving skills, speaking respectfully, assertive discipline, reinforcement, chore compliance, homework compliance, supervision of children hanging out with peers who are a bad influence, stepfamily problems, single-parent issues, and violence. The program is administered in one to three sessions lasting 2 to 2.5 hours. Parents using the program also receive a workbook for future reference that outlines the problems and solutions included in the program.
The target population is families with parents who do not usually seek or complete mental health or parent education treatment for children's problem behaviors. Single-parent families and stepfamilies with children who exhibit behavior problems constitute most of the families targeted. PW has been tested with families in rural and urban areas and is equally appealing to African American, Hispanic/Latino, and white families.
Intervention took place during two consecutive weekly classes, each lasting 2 hours. The intervention group spent approximately 2.5 hours using the interactive videodisc program and 1.5 hours in group discussions about appropriate expectations of young children's behavior and how to apply the parenting skills taught in the program. Intervention participants also received a workbook. The measures used in the study included a parenting knowledge test, parental attitudes questionnaire, and a supplementary questionnaire. Three outcomes were measured: knowledge of effective parenting skills, belief in the effectiveness of adapting parenting practices over coercive practices, and ability to apply effective parenting skills to situations likely to be encountered with young children.
Study 2 (Kacir and Gordon 1999) enrolled 38 mothers who were recruited through letters mailed to their homes or sent home with children from high and middle schools in a rural area in Appalachian Southern Ohio. The average age of the mothers was 40, and the median level of income was between $10,001 and $20,000. The average age of the target children was 14. Half of the children were male; six of the children had been referred to juvenile court, and 14 were either currently or had been previously involved with child protective services. Women were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Participants in the intervention group completed the PW videodiscs in one to three sessions over a 2-week period. Participants in both groups completed a child behavior inventory, a parent behavior questionnaire, and a parent knowledge test. Measures were administered prior to the beginning of the intervention and again one month after intervention. Data were analyzed using repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance and analysis of variance procedures.
Study 2 found that at both 1 month and 4 months, mothers in the intervention group reported significantly greater knowledge of parenting skills and use of effective parenting skills than the no-treatment control group. In order to determine the presence of clinically significant change after intervention, the researchers calculated a reliable change index for children in both groups and found a greater improvement in children in the intervention group than those in the control group. Neither group showed improvement on the parent behavior question designed to measure how often the parenting skills were used. Authors caution that two measures (Parenting Knowledge Test and Parent Behavior Questionnaire) are unstandardized instruments and that self-reports were used exclusively.
OJJDP Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders
Best Practices Database
The OJJDP Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders Best Practices Database was created and developed by
Development Services Group
under Cooperative Agreement #2008-JF-FX-0072.