Patterson, 1969, 1974), a number of programs have emerged that target parents of children at different developmental stages, including childhood (e.g., Forgatch and DeGarmo, 1999; Webster-Stratton, 1990; Sanders, Markie-Dodds, et al., 2000), early adolescence (e.g., Dishion and Andrews, 1995; Spoth, Goldberg, and Redmond, 1999), and adolescence (Chamberlain, 1990; Henggeler, Clingempeel, et al., 2002). All of these programs teach and encourage parents to (1) use praise and rewards to reinforce desirable behavior; (2) replace criticism and physical punishment with mild and consistent negative consequences for undesirable behavior, such as time-out and brief loss of privileges; and (3) increase positive involvement with their children, such as playing with them, reading to them, and listening to them.
The efficacy of interventions focused on parenting skills is well established (see Lochman and van-den-Steenhoven, 2002; Petrie, Bunn, and Byrne, 2007; Prinz and Jones, 2003; Serketich and Dumas, 1996). In addition, several meta-analyses report positive effects of such interventions across a range of child and parent outcomes for parents of young children (Barlow, Coren, and Stewart-Brown, 2002; Lundahl, Nimer, and Parsons, 2006; Serketich and Dumas, 1996; Kaminski, Valle, et al., 2008). Kaminski, Valle, and colleagues (2008) report the greatest effect sizes for programs that include parent training in creating positive parent–child interactions, increasing effective emotional communication skills, and using time-out and that emphasize parenting consistency. Many parenting programs have been shown in two or more experimental trials to produce positive behavioral outcomes.
Two examples of parenting interventions with substantial empirical evidence are highlighted in Boxes 6-2 and 6-3. The Incredible Years (see Box 6-2), a combined parent–school intervention, has been tested as a selective and indicated intervention for children with aggressive behavior and related problems that have not yet reached clinical levels. It also has been tested in effectiveness trials using indigenous family support personnel and is one of few interventions that has been tested by independent investigators rather than the program developer. The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) (see Box 6-3) is a multilevel intervention with universal, selective, and indicated components. It recently demonstrated positive results when tested on a population-wide basis in Australia (Sanders, Ralph, et al., 2008). Both programs have also been evaluated as treatment interventions, with positive results for those diagnosed with specific disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; e.g., Hoath and Sanders, 2002).
Additional parenting interventions are highlighted in the next section. Interventions that combine training in parenting skills with school-based interventions are described later in the chapter.