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An evaluation of Boys Town's Common Sense Parenting behavioral parent training program

Annette K Griffith, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


A large number of children in the United States engage in a level of problem behavior that is severe enough to have negative impact on their lives at home, at school, and in the community. Parent training programs have become one of the most commonly used interventions for families of children with or at risk for problem behavior. While several different parent training programs exist, many have limitations (e.g., long program lengths, need for highly educated staff) and very few have been packaged into intervention programs that meet the standards to be evidence based (as set by organizations that aim to identify evidence-based interventions, e.g., Blueprints for Violence Prevention Project, What Works Clearinghouse, The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs & Practices). The purpose of this current dissertation study was to evaluate Boys Town’s Common Sense Parenting (CSP) program, which was designed to address the limitations of other parent training programs and has shown promise to be effective in previous research studies. The current study sought to examine the pre/post changes that occurred in areas of parent knowledge, parent stress, parenting practices and beliefs, and child externalizing behavior. Also, because parent training programs are not effective for all families, this study attempted to identify the variables (e.g., parent characteristics, child characteristics, level of treatment integrity) that were predictive of outcomes for the CSP program. Results indicated that following parent participation in the CSP program, there were significant increases for measures of parent knowledge and parenting practices and beliefs, and significant decreases for parent stress and child externalizing behavior. These findings were consistent with previous research on the CSP program. However, contrary to previous research on other parent training programs, very few predictors of outcomes were identified. Specifically, only 2 out of 15 sequential multiple regression analyses found that larger models (using parent characteristics, child characteristics, and/or level of treatment integrity as predictors) performed better than smaller models (using pretest scores alone as predictors). These results are discussed, along with the study limitations, directions for future research, and implications for practice. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Education, Adult and Continuing|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Griffith, Annette K, "An evaluation of Boys Town's Common Sense Parenting behavioral parent training program" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3326857.