Parenting Inside Out (PIO)

About This Program

Target Population: Criminal-justice and systems-involved parents (e.g., incarcerated, substance abuse, child welfare) of children ages 0-19 who may be at risk for, or presenting with, behavior problems

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 19

Program Overview

Parenting Inside Out (PIO) is a cognitive-behavioral, group parenting skills training program based on the Oregon Social Learning Center’s parent management training (PMT) program for at-risk families. PIO addresses the unique situation and issues of criminal-justice and systems-involved parents (substance abuse, child welfare). Group sessions introduce a set of core parenting practices (e.g., problem-solving, positive involvement, limit setting, monitoring, and nonviolent discipline), supporting skills (e.g., active communication, emotion regulation, emotion coaching), as well as child development, healthy family dynamics, and building relationships with children while separated. Parenting Coaches use interactive teaching skills (e.g., role play, group discussion, and problem-solving) to introduce and practice skills. There are three versions of the curriculum designed to fit different situations. The versions differ in the number of hours and some activities, and are designed for use in prisons, community settings (parents on parole or probation) and jails.

Program Goals

The goals of Parenting Inside Out are:

  • Improve prosocial functioning
  • Decrease antisocial behavior
  • Learn skills to communicate positively and effectively with the caregiver(s) of their child(ren) and other involved adults about the well-being of their children and family
  • Learn skills to effectively parent their children while incarcerated and when they are released
  • Learn how to help their child have a healthy adjustment to having them back in their lives
  • Learn skills that prevent their child’s problem behavior
  • Learn skills on how to increase their child’s resiliency

Essential Components

The essential components of Parenting Inside Out (PIO) include:

  • Parent group sessions introduce a set of core parenting practices:
    • Positive involvement
    • Problem-solving
    • Limit setting
    • Monitoring
    • Nonviolent discipline
  • Sessions also introduce supporting practices:
    • Active communication
    • Emotion regulation
    • Emotion coaching
  • Sessions also cover:
    • Child development
    • Parenting children as individuals
    • Dealing with challenging behaviors
    • Building relationships with children while separated
    • Healthy coparenting relationships
  • Parenting Coaches:
    • Use interactive teaching skills:
      • Role-play
      • Problem-solving
      • Group discussion
    • Introduce and have parents practice skills that are designed to support:
      • Prosocial family functioning
      • Generalizable success in rest-of-life roles
  • Example videos and parent handouts/worksheets are:
    • Provided as part of PIO
    • Used by Parenting Coaches during group sessions

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Parenting Inside Out (PIO) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Separated from child due to involvement in the justice system (including being in prison, in jail, on parole or on probation) or due to open child welfare case; parent of child at risk for developing disruptive behavior problems; undergoing significant family transition

Recommended Intensity:

Each group session is 2.0-2.5 hours in length.

Recommended Duration:

Varies by version of program, 3 weeks to 3 months (Prison version: 60-90 hours; Community version: 48 hours, and Jail version: 24 hours)

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Justice Setting (Juvenile Detention, Jail, Prison, Courtroom, etc.)

Homework

Parenting Inside Out (PIO) includes a homework component:

Parents have various homework assignments related to the topics covered in the lessons. Homework usually takes no more than 30 minutes to complete.

Languages

Parenting Inside Out (PIO) 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:

Classroom space, use of a copy machine to duplicate parent materials

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Recommended minimum qualification is a Bachelor’s degree in human development, child development, social work, 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.

Parenting Inside Out for Prison Settings

Parenting Inside Out for Community Settings

Parenting Inside Out for Jail Settings

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

All training is webinar-based using AdobeConnect. Training is interactive and facilitated.

Number of days/hours:

12 hours

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Eddy, J. M., Martinez, C. R., & Burraston, B. (2013). A randomized controlled trial of a parent management training program for incarcerated parents: Proximal impacts. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 78(3), 75-93. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43773256

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 359

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 59% White, 13% African American, 11% Multiracial, 8% Native American, and 8% Latino
  • Gender — 55% Female and 45% Male
  • Status — Participants were incarcerated parents.

Location/Institution: Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) and Pathfinders of Oregon

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study uses population from Kjellstrand et al. (2012). This study examines the impact of Parenting Inside Out (PIO) on incarcerated parents and their families. Participants were randomized into either PIO or a service-as-usual condition. Measures utilized include administrative data, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results indicate PIO appears to have a significant impact on incarcerated parents while in prison in three areas of particular importance: parent adjustment, parent–caregiver relationships, and parenting. Some of these effects were main effects of the intervention, whereas others were interactions between the intervention and baseline levels of a given outcome. In the case of interactions, PIO appeared to impact the parents who most needed the intervention, and had little impact on those in less need. Limitations include generalizability of the findings due to geography and population and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Borja, S., Nurius, P., & Eddy, J. M. (2015). Adversity across the life course of incarcerated parents: Gender differences. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 5(1–3), 167–185. https://doi.org/10.1080/1936928X.2015.1093992

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial (secondary data analysis)
Number of Participants: 357

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 59% White, 13% African American, 11% multiracial, 8% Native American, and 8% Latino
  • Gender — 50% Female
  • Status — Participants were incarcerated parents.

Location/Institution: Four minimum- or medium-security-level Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study uses population from Kjellstrand et al. (2012). This study examines differences between incarcerated mothers and fathers in their exposures to adversities across the life course. Participants were individually randomized, blocking on gender and on race/ethnicity, into either an ‘‘intervention’’ condition (Parenting Inside Out [PIO]) or a ‘‘control’’ service-as-usual condition, and were assessed preintervention and postintervention as well as 6- and 12-months postrelease. Measures utilized include administrative data, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results indicate an accumulation of adversities across the life course of incarcerated parents, with similar patterns of exposure between mothers and fathers in their families of origin. Findings reveal gender differences around early systems involvement as well as adult adversities that warrant further consideration. Limitations include variety of adversities at each point in the life course were not assessed and generalizability of the findings due to geography.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 and 12 months.

Burraston, B. O., & Eddy, J. M. (2017). The moderating effect of living with a child before incarceration on postrelease outcomes related to a prison-based parent management training program. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 87(1), 94-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/00377317.2017.1248634

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 359

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 59% White, 13% African American, 11% Multiracial, 8% Native American, and 8% Latino
  • Gender — 55% Female and 45% Male
  • Status — Participants were foster parents.

Location/Institution: Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) and Pathfinders of Oregon

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study uses population from Kjellstrand et al. (2012). This study examined the moderating effect of living with a child before incarceration on program outcomes related to Parenting Inside Out (PIO) program. Participants were individually randomized, blocking on gender and on race/ethnicity, into either an ‘‘intervention’’ condition (PIO) or a ‘‘control’’ service-as-usual condition. Measures utilized include administrative data, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results indicate the PIO program shows promise as one component in a preventive intervention strategy designed to ease a person’s reentry into society and prevent recidivism. Overall, participants in the PIO intervention condition had fewer arrests after release than participants in the services as usual control group. Participants in the control condition who lived with their child before incarceration had fewer arrests than participants in the control condition who did not live with their child before incarceration. Limitations include variety of adversities at each point in the life course were not assessed, generalizability of the findings due to geography.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 and 12 months.

The following studies were not included in rating PIO on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Kjellstrand, J. M., Cearley, J., Eddy, J. M., Foney, D., & Martinez Jr, C. R. (2012). Characteristics of incarcerated fathers and mothers: Implications for preventive interventions targeting children and families. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(12), 2409–2415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.08.008

The current study examines differences between incarcerated mothers, incarcerated fathers, and their families on factors that might be important to consider when creating the content and process of preventive intervention programs. Participants were randomized into either Parenting Inside Out (PIO) or service-as-usual condition. Measures utilized include administrative data, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results indicate mothers and fathers were similar on a number of dimensions including age, education-level, number and age of children, and family criminal history, but differences were observed on key variables relevant to outcomes for children and families, including employment history and income, substance use, mental health, trauma experiences, and criminal history. Limitations include generalizability of the findings due to geography and population, study focuses on a subgroup of inmate parents, and lack of follow-up. This article was not used for rating Parenting Inside Out in the topic area of Parent Training Programs that Address Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents since it did not look at outcomes for that topic area.

Additional References

Eddy, J. M., Kjellstrand, J., Martinez, C. R., Jr., & Newton, R. (2010). Theory-based multimodal parenting intervention for incarcerated parents and their children. In J. M Eddy, & Poehlmann, J. (Eds.), Children of incarcerated parents: A handbook for researchers and practitioners (pp.237–264). Urban Institute Press.

Contact Information

Agency/Affiliation: The Pathfinder Network (the Children’s Justice Alliance is a program of The Pathfinder Network)
Website: www.parentinginsideout.org
Email:
Phone: (503) 977-6399

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2020