Active Parenting of Teens
About This Program
Target Population: Parents and caregivers of preteens and teens ages 10 to 17 with a wide range of problems including oppositional behavior, poor self-esteem, lack of general life skills
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 10 – 17
Active Parenting of Teens is a video-based parenting education program targeting parents of preteens and teens ages 10-17 who want to improve their parenting skills and their preteens'/teens' behavior. It is based on the application of Adlerian parenting theory, which includes mutual respect among family members, non-violent discipline, problem solving, communication skills training, family enrichment, problem solving, and encouragement.
Active Parenting of Teens is conducted in one 2-hour class per week for 6 weeks. The program features a video that contains vignettes of a variety of typical family situations involving pre-teens and teens depicted by professional actors. Each scene provides an example of how an autocratic or permissive parenting technique fails to handle a situation and then models the alternative authoritative (or "active") skills. The Active Parenting of Teens Leader's Guide aids the leader, a professional facilitator, in organizing the sessions. The guide contains session organizers, questions and answers to help parents process the video, instructions for all group activities, brief explanations to be made by the leader, and home activity assignments. The Active Parenting of Teens Parent's Guide contains all the information covered in Active Parenting of Teens, giving parents their first exposure to the information and skills they will be learning. It also includes additional reading material, practice activities, and homework assignments that provide information and opportunities to practice using the skills.
This is one of 3 versions of Active Parenting reviewed and rated on this website (search Active Parenting above). There is also a version of Active Parenting for parents of children under 5 called "Active Parenting First Five Years"; while the program has not yet been reviewed by the CEBC, you can find more information about it at https://activeparenting.com/product-category/for-leaders/parenting-curriculums-for-leaders/ages-0-4-parenting-curriculums-for-leaders/.
The goals of Active Parenting of Teens are:
- Teach parents a comprehensive model of parenting that will better enable their teens to survive and thrive in a modern democratic society
- Decrease the amount of parent-teen relationship problems
- Improve teen behavior
- Improve teen welfare
The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Active Parenting of Teens.
The essential components of Active Parenting of Teens include:
- Uses a true multimodal, video-based delivery system:
- Showing brief video vignettes involving preteens and teens that present new concepts and model both ineffective and positive parenting skills for each topic
- Using the Active Parenting of Teens Leader's Guide which provides a detailed structure for all aspects of the training
- Providing experiential activities that reinforce key concepts and skill
- Promoting leader-facilitated group discussion by following the Active Parenting of Teens Leader's Guide
- Providing extensive PowerPoint slides (which some leaders prefer to put on charts or board as they go)
- Assigning homework to practice skills at home followed by discussing how it went at the next session thereby enhancing learning
- Providing a comprehensive Active Parenting of Teens Parent's Guide containing all content, exercises, home assignments, and class activities
- Is organized around strength development in teens:
- Focusing on developing and enhancing five key qualities in teenagers:
- Mutual respect
- Focusing on teaching skills for improving everyday living in the family, school, and community
- Focusing on the prevention of drugs, reckless sexuality, and violence; teen brain development; and the use of communication and problem solving skills
- Is easy to lead:
- Using the components of the program which facilitate the leading of group sessions
- Providing leader training through live workshops and online, but is not required
- Is flexible:
- Attending group sessions
- Having a leader come work with the client in the home (Home visitation)
- Participating in online self-directed modules for parents
- Watching videos on a television or a computer for either initial learning or review
Active Parenting of Teens directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- For parents of teens and preteens who have a wide range of problems including oppositional behavior, poor self-esteem, lack of general life skills; for parents with poor parenting skills, lack of education for dealing with challenging teens, or family problems
1 group session per week for two hours each
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Outpatient Clinic
- Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
- Group or Residential Care
- School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)
Active Parenting of Teens includes a homework component:
Each session concludes with homework assignments designed to aid parents in applying new information and skills with their teens at home. These assignments are supported in the Active Parenting of Teens Parent's Guide and then followed up the next session by the leader using questions from the Active Parenting of Teens Leader's Guide.
Active Parenting of Teens has materials available in languages other than English:
Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Swedish
For information on which materials are available in these languages, 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:
Groups are usually led by a single leader with either a mental health or education background. In addition, a comfortable room that will seat 10-20 parents in chairs, a TV and DVD player; and either a means of projecting a PowerPoint presentation and/or a whiteboard or flipchart.
Manuals and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
This is left up to the providing organization, but most leaders have a degree in mental health, education, or a related field.
There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.
- Popkin, M. (2009). Active Parenting of Teens leader's guide. Active Parenting Publishers. https://activeparenting.com/product/active-parenting-of-teens/
There is training available for this program.
- Micole Mason
phone: (678) 738-0465
Over 50 one-day Leader Training Workshops (LTW) are offered each year throughout the US and Canada. Two training of trainers workshops are offered each year in the US. Training is also available onsite upon request.
Number of days/hours:
LTW: 7 hours; Training of Trainers (TOT): 3 days (CEUs are available.)
There currently are additional qualified resources for training:
Participants successfully completing a TOT are authorized to conduct LTWs.
There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Active Parenting of Teens.
Formal Support for Implementation
There is no formal support available for implementation of Active Parenting of Teens.
There are no fidelity measures for Active Parenting of Teens.
Implementation Guides or Manuals
There are no implementation guides or manuals for Active Parenting of Teens.
There are no studies of the costs of Active Parenting of Teens.
Research on How to Implement the Program
Research has not been conducted on how to implement Active Parenting of Teens.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Mullis, F. (1999). Active Parenting: An evaluation of two Adlerian parent education programs. Journal of Individual Psychology, 55(2), 225–232. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-05602-008
Type of Study:
One-group pretest–posttest study
Number of Participants: Active Parenting of Teens: 98 parents; Active Parenting Today: 287 parents
- Age — Not specified
- Race/Ethnicity — Active Parenting of Teens: 77% White, 20% African American, 2% Hispanic, and 2% Native American; Active Parenting Today: 85% White, 9% African American, and 2% Other
- Gender — 71% Female and 29% Male
- Status — Participants were parents who registered for parent education classes focusing on either teens or young children.
Location/Institution: United States
(To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of Active Parenting of Teens and Active Parenting Today (now called Active Parenting 4th Edition) and on teens’ and children’s behavior as perceived by their parents. Measures utilized include the About My Teen questionnaire and the About My Child questionnaire. Results indicate that both programs resulted in a significant change in parental perceptions of behavior, according to the questionnaire administered. Limitations include the lack of a control group, possible parental bias, and lack of follow-up.
Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: Not specified.
Foley, Y. C., Popkin, M. H., Mullis, F., & Cooper, P. J. (2019). Active Parenting Now and Active Parenting of Teens: An evaluation of two Neo-Adlerian parenting programs. Journal of Individual Psychology, 75(4), 272-286. https://doi.org/10.1353/jip.2019.0017
Type of Study:
Pretest–posttest study with a nonequivalent control group (Quasi-experimental)
Number of Participants: 230
- Age — Not specified
- Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
- Gender — 173 Female and 57 Male
- Status — Participants were parents who registered for parent education classes.
Location/Institution: Not specified
(To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of Active Parenting of Teens and Active Parenting Now (now called Active Parenting 4th Edition) on parent observation of their children and teen’s behavior, parent attitudes and beliefs, and parent behaviors. Participants were in 7 groups for Active Parenting of Teens and 19 groups for Active Parenting Now. A control group of 52 parents for Active Parenting Now and 38 parents for Active Parenting of Teens from three of the same locations were given the same pre- and posttest measures before taking the 6-week course. Parents selected to be in the control group were wait-listed to take their courses, completing the pretest surveys approximately 6 weeks before the course began and the posttest when they began their course. Measures utilized include the Active Parenting Now Survey and the Active Parenting of Teens Survey. Results indicate that parents taking the Active Parenting of Teens courses exhibited a positive change in their own observations of teen behavior as well as their own parenting behavior as compared to a control group of parents who had not yet taken the course. Parents participating in Active Parenting Now courses also exhibited a positive change in their own observation of their child’s behavior, in their attitudes and beliefs about parenting, and their own self-reported parenting behavior as compared to a control group of parents who had not yet taken the course. Limitations include the lack of randomization, reliance on self-reported measures, and lack of follow-up.
Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.
CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Review. (2001). Padres activos de hoy. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CLAS #CL03985.
Popkin, M. (1991). Active Parenting: A video-based program in M. Fine (Ed.), The second handbook of parent education. San Diego: Academic Press.
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: November 2022
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: December 2020
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: January 2013