Providing evidence of effectiveness of our program work has become increasingly important to all of us. Funding sources often require it, and even when they don’t, we can agree that when we take time to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, we see improved results from our efforts to strengthen families and children. Active Parenting demonstrates its commitment to scientific rigor by providing access to our own studies published in peer reviewed journals, sharing other independent research on AP programs, and by offering the free use of our program evaluation surveys to leaders.
This study presents findings from a national evaluation of the Active Parenting First Five Years (FFY) program, a group-based parent education program which utilizes a video-supported curriculum and is designed to promote responsive parenting and healthy development in children under the age of five, with a unique emphasis on the mental states (i.e., mindfulness, executive function) and well-being of parents. The sample for this study consisted of 213 primary caregivers between the ages of 18 and 81 (Mdn = 30) with 61% mothers, 44% racial minority, 61% partnered, and 81% identified as low-income. Pre- to post-test findings showed significant increases in caregiver reported responsive parenting, developmental knowledge, parenting efficacy, mindfulness, overall child behavior, child prosocial behavior, and decreased parenting stress. Using an innovative Inclusive Randomized Controlled Trial method to establish treatment (N = 66) and comparison (N = 66) study groups, group differences indicative of program effects were detected for parenting outcomes of caregiver reported mindfulness, parenting efficacy, and parenting stress. Findings from this study using the whole sample also suggest that parents who increase their use of mindfulness practices perceive associated changes in their child’s behavior, specifically in areas related to conduct problems. Further considering parents’ mental states, enhanced developmental knowledge and parenting efficacy were shown to predict lower perceived levels of parenting stress across the program. Taken together, these findings illustrate initial effectiveness of the FFY program, as well as emphasize the need for parental well-being to receive increased consideration in parenting intervention designs and curricula.
Q. Is Active Parenting: First Five Years (FFY) an evidence-based parenting curriculum?
A. YES. The results of the national research study have been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Child & Youth Care Forum. Publication date to come soon. This acceptance qualifies Active Parenting: First Five Years as an evidence-based program and for inclusion on registries such as the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse and others.
Q. What other ways is FFY evidence-based?
A. There are a number of ways:
This questionnaire may be used free of charge to provide evidence of your program’s effectiveness.
Use this form to collect information from parents about what they liked and what needs improvement in your classes.