An evaluation of three parent training programs

Fashimpar, G.
Doctoral dissertation
University of Texas at Arlington


This dissertation evaluated three video format parent training programs. Each program represents a unique approach to parenting. Winning! is based upon behavioral parenting theory; Active Parenting is based upon Adlerian parenting theory; The Nurturing Program for Parents and Children 4 to 12 Years is an eclectic program including behavioral, Adlerian, developmental and reparenting theories.

Both professionals and nonprofessionals served as parenting instructors. Subjects who were enrolled in Winning! classes signed up for an eight-week course consisting of about eight hours of training. Subjects who enrolled in The Nurturing Program committed to 15 weeks of classes consisting of about 37 to 45 hours of training. Subjects who enrolled in Active Parenting received about 7 hours of training over 7 weeks.

Subjects were required to complete three assessment instruments. The Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI) measures subjects attitudes on four parenting constructs: expectations of children, empathy for children, physical punishment, and family roles. The Index of Parental Attitudes (IPA) measures the severity of parent-child relationship problems. The Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales III (FACES III) provides an analysis of the functioning of a family.

In general, the findings of the study are as follows. Winning! is effective at reducing the severity of parent-child problems in abusive families. For parents that are not abusive, both Winning! and Active Parenting effectively reduce the severity of parent-child problems. Of the parent training programs evaluated, Active Parenting has the strongest impact upon improving the functioning of family systems. The Nurturing Program is the most effective at increasing the appropriateness of parents (1) expectations for their children, (2) empathy for their children, (3) attitudes toward physical punishment, and (4) attitudes toward family roles when those parents attitude scores are average or below average on the AAPI. Winning! is effective only with parents whose attitudes are below average on the AAPI. Active Parenting is comparatively ineffective in altering the parenting attitudes measured by the AAPI.