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Parenting Wisely

Scientific Rating:
3
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Parenting Wisely has been rated by the CEBC in the areas of: Disruptive Behavior Treatment (Child & Adolescent) and Parent Training Programs.

Target Population: Families with children at risk for or with: behavior problems, substance abuse problems, or delinquency

For children/adolescents ages: 9 – 18

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 9 – 18

Brief Description

Parenting Wisely is a self-administered, highly interactive computer-based program that teaches parents and children, ages 9-18, skills to improve their relationships and decrease conflict through support and behavior management. The program utilizes an interactive website (or CD-ROM) with nine video scenarios depicting common challenges with adolescents. Parents are provided the choice of three solutions to these challenges and are able to view the scenarios enacted, while receiving feedback about each choice. Parents are quizzed periodically throughout the program and receive feedback. The program operates as a supportive tutor pointing out typical errors parents make and highlighting new skills that will help them resolve problems. Computer experience or literacy is not required. Parents and children can use the program together as a family intervention. The Parenting Wisely program uses a risk-focused approach to reduce family conflict and child behavior problems.

Program Goals:

The goals of Parenting Wisely are:

  • Reduction in child problem behavior
  • Improvement in family relationships
  • Decrease in teen and maternal depression
  • Reduction in preteen and teen drug and alcohol abuse
  • Reduction in preteen and teen violent behavior
  • Improvements in parenting self-efficacy and parenting satisfaction
  • Improvements in parenting knowledge
  • Reduction in use of physical punishment
  • Improvement in frequency of family activities and meetings

Essential Components

The essential components of Parenting Wisely include:

  • Parenting Wisely is a versatile program and can be used in a variety of locations.
  • The training program can be administered in one or two sessions. Repeated use of programs by parents and adolescents can increase effectiveness.
  • The CD-ROM covers topics such as:
    • Communication skills
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Increasing parental supervision and discipline of their child
    • Assertive discipline
    • Speaking respectfully
    • Chore compliance
    • Peer pressure
    • Step-parenting issues

Child/Adolescent Services

Parenting Wisely directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Conduct disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, hyperactivity, peer problems, substance abuse, and depression.

Parent/Caregiver Services

Parenting Wisely directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Child behavior problems (acting out, disruptive behavior, internalizing problems, hyperactivity, peer relationship problems), parent or child substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, parental depression.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Foster Home
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Residential Care Facility
  • School

Homework

Parenting Wisely includes a homework component:

Parents complete exercises in a workbook. The workbook contains skill-building exercises in communication, discipline, contracting and point systems, and support. When parents participate in the group format, homework assignments from the workbook are given.

Languages

Parenting Wisely has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Desktop and laptop computers
  • Small private room
  • Receptionist or practitioner to introduce family to program

For group administration:

  • LCD projector
  • Screen
  • Room to hold 10-16 people

Minimum Provider Qualifications

None.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Provided onsite.

Number of days/hours:

1-2 days, 7-14 hours.

Additional Resources:

There currently are additional qualified resources for training:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

Kacir, C., & Gordon, D. A. (1999). Parenting Adolescents Wisely: The effectiveness of an interactive videodisk parent training program in Appalachia. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 21(4), 1-22.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 38 mothers

Population:

  • Age range — Children between 12-18
  • Race/Ethnicity — Caucasian
  • Gender — Not Specified
  • Status — Recruited by direct mail or through public schools.

Location / Institution: Southeastern Ohio

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Mothers were randomly assigned to Parenting Adolescents Wisely (PAW) or to a control group that received no intervention. Children’s problem behaviors were measured using the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI). Parents also filled out a Parent Behavior Questionnaire and the Parenting Knowledge Test, which measured how well parents know and implement the behaviors and skills taught by PAW program. After the intervention, the measures were taken again at one month and at between 3 and 5 months. At both post intervention assessments, children’s behavior measures were better for the PAW families than for the control families. No significant difference was found for the Parent Behavior Questionnaire, but PAW parents scored higher on the Parenting Knowledge Test at one month. Limitations include a small sample size, subjective measures and possible misinterpretation of the Parent Behavior Questionnaire prior to the intervention.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: Approximately 4 months.

Lagges, A. M., & Gordon, G. A. (1999). Use of an interactive laserdisc parent training program with teenage parents. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 21(1), 19-37.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 50 parents

Population:

  • Age range — 16.9 years on average
  • Race/Ethnicity — 56% White, 44% Black
  • Gender — Not Specified
  • Status — Teens enrolled in a program for pregnant or parenting teens at their high school.

Location / Institution: Ohio

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Pregnant or parenting adolescents in a high school program for teen parents were randomly assigned to receive the Parenting Adolescents Wisely (PAW) video intervention or to a no treatment control group. The PAW program was designed for parents of adolescents, but the basic skills taught were expected to apply to new parents. Prior to the intervention, participants took the Parenting Knowledge Test (PKT) and the Parental Attitudes Questionnaire (PAQ), which assesses valuing adaptive over coercive parenting practices. They were also asked additional study questions concerning confidence in their parenting, quality and quantity of time spent with children, frequency of spanking and empathy with children subjected to coercive parenting. PAW participants showed an increase in knowledge of adaptive parenting skills and belief in adaptive parenting practices over coercive ones compare to controls. Limitations included small sample time and lack of long-term follow-up.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: 8 weeks.

O'Neill, H., & Woodward, R. (2002). Evaluation of the Parenting Wisely CD-ROM parent training programme: An Irish replication. Irish Journal of Psychology, 23(1), 62-72.

Type of Study: Pretest/Posttest.
Number of Participants: 15 families

Population:

  • Age range — Children 9-18
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not Specified
  • Gender — Not Specified
  • Status — Referred to a psychology service for child behavior problems.

Location / Institution: Ireland

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Parents were randomly assigned to early treatment or delayed treatment groups.. In most cases, the mother completed the intervention. Participants completed the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI), the Parent Behavior Questionnaire (PBQ), and the Parent Knowledge Test (PKT). Results showed positive treatment effects on reported child behaviors. Scores on the PBQ showed significant improvement over baseline at both 2 and 4 weeks. Scores on the PKT showed significant improvement at two weeks. Limitations of the study include small sample size and lack of established psychometrics for the PBQ and PKT.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: 4 weeks.

Segal, D., Chen, P. Y., Gordon, D. A., Kacir, C. D., & Gylys, J. (2003). Development and evaluation of a parenting intervention program: Integration of scientific and practical approaches.International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 15(3), 453-467.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial comparing two versions of the intervention
Number of Participants: 42 parents

Population:

  • Age range — Children 11 to 18
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not Specified
  • Gender — Not Specified
  • Status — Recruited through community and outpatient mental health clinics.

Location / Institution: Not Specified

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Parents were randomly assigned to receive either a non-interactive video (NV) or an interactive multimedia (IM) version of the Parenting Wisely program. Parents’ perception of child adjustment was assessed using the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI); they also reported on observed negative and positive behaviors using the Parent Daily Report (PDR) and discipline was assessed with a Daily Discipline Interview (DDI). They also completed the Parent Behavior Questionnaire (PBQ). Measures were taken at baseline and at 3 weeks post-intervention. There was no significant difference on overall outcomes between intervention groups. Both groups showed improved scores on the ECBI, PBQ, PKT, and on parent responses to negative behaviors on the PDR. Limitations include small sample size and lack of a non-intervention control group.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: 3 weeks.

Cefai, J., Smith, D., & Pushak, R. E. (2010). Parenting Wisely: Parent training via CD-ROM with an Australian sample. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 32, 17-33.   

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 116

Population:

  • Age range — Children 9 to 15; Parents 24-55
  • Race/Ethnicity — 66% Australian, 12% Italian, and 9% Maltese
  • Gender — Children 49% Female; Parents: 79% Female
  • Status — Families who responded to advertisements

Location / Institution: Australia

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Parents were randomly assigned to either individual or group administration of the Parenting Wisely program, or a wait list control group. Measures included the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) and the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC). Measures were taken at baseline and 3 months after the intervention. Both treatment groups showed improved scores on the ECBI at follow-up, while improvement on the PSOC was seen only for the individual administration group. Limitations include significant differences between the three groups at baseline on the ECBI, as well as the large number of families that did not complete the follow-up measures.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: 3 months.

References

Show references...

Lagges, A., & Gordon, D. A. (1997). Interactive videodisk parent training for teen mothers. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 21(1), 19-37.

Kacir, C., & Gordon, D. A. (1997). Interactive videodisk parent training for parents of difficult pre-teens. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 21(4), 1-22.

O'Neill, H., & Woodward, R. (2002). Evaluation of the Parenting Wisely CD-ROM parent-training programme: An Irish replication. Irish Journal of Psychology, 23(1-2), 62-72.

Segal D., Chen, P. Y., Gordon, D. A., Kacir, C. Y., & Gylys, J. (2003). Development and evaluation of a parenting intervention program: Integration of scientific and practical approaches. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 15, 453-468.

Contact Information

Name: Don Gordon, PhD
Title: Professor Emeritus
Agency/Affiliation: Ohio University and Family Works, Inc.
Website: www.familyworksinc.com
Email:
Phone: (541) 201-7680
Fax: (740) 594-2521

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2012

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2014

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2006