Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

The evaluation of family support programs employing parent education to achieve prevention of child abuse and neglect is an important consideration for professionals as it can provide a good insight into possible improvements of a program.

A parent education program administered by the Center for Women, Children and Families (CWCF) was assessed using participants’ pre- and post-program scores on the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2) from 148 parents.

Statistical analysis indicated that parenting knowledge has significantly improved on all five dimensions measured following program attendance. This finding supported the answer to the first research question. To answer the second research question, bivariate correlations were performed to assess whether parent characteristics differentiate between the parenting attitudes after the program completion. Findings showed that differences in program effectiveness according to age, gender, marital status, educational level, race and income level were minimal, which suggests that the CWCF’s parenting program is an effective intervention for the diverse population it serves.

Based on these findings, the following recommendations are made:

  • Monitor the parenting program during its implementation through mid session evaluations based on the model employed in this study to minimize the number of participants showing no improvements in their parenting attitudes upon completion of the program.
  • Restructure the database used to maintain program assessment data to facilitate future program assessments by storing participant demographics collected during the intake process with AAPI-2 scores.
  • Extend the period of lectures on specific constructs on which parents are maintaining negative attitudes given the assumption that the length of the programs can be responsible for the parents’ maintaining low scores on some constructs even after the program’s completion.
  • Conduct a more thorough study to assess participants who completed the program and to follow up with parents several months after program completion to assess the program’s long term effects on parenting attitudes.

Although this study has some limitations, it provides preliminary evidence that the parenting program offered by the CWCF does improve parenting knowledge among the at risk parents the program serves.