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

Program Overview

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.

Program Goals

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

Essential Components

The essential components of Active Parenting of Teens include:

  • Uses a true multimodal, video-based delivery system:
    • Showing brief video vignettes involving pre-teens 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:
      • Courage
      • Responsibility
      • Cooperation
      • Mutual respect
      • Self-esteem
    • 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

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

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

Recommended Intensity:

1 group session per week for two hours each

Recommended Duration:

Six weeks

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)

Homework

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.

Languages

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.

Education 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.

Education and Training Resources

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

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

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.)

Additional Resources:

There currently are additional qualified resources for training:

Participants successfully completing a TOT are authorized to conduct LTWs.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Mullis, F. (1999). Active Parenting: An evaluation of two Adlerian parent education programs. Journal of Individual Psychology, 55, 225-232.

Type of Study: One-group pretest-posttest
Number of Participants: Active Parenting of Teens: 98 parents; Active Parenting Today groups: 287 parents

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Active Parenting of Teens group: 77% White, 20% African American, 1.5% Hispanic, and 1.5% Native American; Active Parenting Today group: 85% White, 9% African Americans, and 1.5% 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: Canada

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study assessed 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 used were the About My Teen questionnaire and the About My Child questionnaire. Results indicated 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 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
Number of Participants: 230

Population:

  • 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

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study assessed the effects of Active Parenting of Teens and Active Parenting Now (now called Active Parenting 4th Edition) and on parent observation of their children and teen’s behavior, parent attitudes and beliefs, and parent behaviors. There were 7 groups for Active Parenting of Teens (n=60) and 19 groups for Active Parenting Now (n = 170). Measures utilized include the Active Parenting Now Survey and the Active Parenting of Teens Survey. Results indicated 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 postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

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.

Contact Information

Michael H. Popkin, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Active Parenting Publishers
Website: www.activeparenting.com
Email:
Phone: (678) 738-0462
Fax: (770) 429-0334

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2019

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: January 2013