Program

May 24, 2011

OVERVIEW

The CD-ROM Parenting Wisely (PW) program was
designed to improve the parenting behaviors of parents of young adolescents. The
CD-ROM intervention included a series of short video vignettes of problematic
child behaviors (such as a child not doing his homework) and allowed parents to
interact with these vignettes by choosing a possible solution from a list. The
parent’s chosen solution is then played out and the parent can see how well or
poorly the chosen solution worked. This CD-ROM program was developed at the
University of Ohio and its effectiveness has been studied multiple times with
different populations, and study designs. It was designed to reduce barriers of
cost, transportation, provider training and social stigma for families, while
providing a family-focused intervention. In general, the PAW or Parenting Wisely
(PW) program has been found to reduce problematic child behaviors.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
The Parenting Wisely: American Teens program
is designed to encourage positive parenting behaviors

The PW program is a
computer-assisted interactive videodisc program (available on laserdisc and
CD-ROM) designed to teach teenage parents communication skills, problem solving
skills, speaking respectfully, and assertive discipline in the context of
working with children. The program uses video vignettes, quizzing, and feedback
in order to teach effective parenting skills. The program uses nine 2 to 3
minute video scenarios (i.e., children not doing chores, not completing chores
satisfactorily, not complying with parental requests to get off the telephone or
turn down the volume of music, not completing homework, sibling aggression,
associating with peers that parents feel will be bad influences, and speaking
disrespectfully) to teach parents appropriate parenting skills (e.g., using “I
statements”). The vignettes include two-parent, single parent, and stepfamilies.
The children in the vignettes are pre-teen and teenagers and the scenes are
representative of African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic families.
After the presentation of each scenario, the parents are presented with several
possible solutions in a multiple choice format and the program provides feedback
based on the solution selected. In addition to the videodisc program,
participants are also given a workbook which outlines the scenarios and reviews
solutions. Finally, an optional component brings the participants together to
discuss the application of the parenting skills taught in the program in a
discussion group. The program requires participants to have a minimal literacy
level and usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete.

There are
additional Parenting Wisely programs for special populations. The original
program is available in Spanish for Spanish-speaking populations. Parenting
Wisely: Young Children uses the same format as the original but is meant for
parents of children ages 3-9. Parenting Wisely: Foster and Residential Care
focuses on problems relevant to foster parents and residential care staff.
Parenting Wisely: Urban Teens was developed for use in the UK and represents an
urban environment. The Wise Parent covers the same information as the original
program, but is designed for consumer use for parents who are comfortable with
computers and have at least a 12th grade reading level.

All of the
Parenting Wisely programs are available for purchase from

http://familyworksinc.com/
. The CD Program Kit and Video Series are
available for $858.00. Parent workbooks cost $9.00 each and completion
certificates cost $10.00 for a set of 25. The program is also available online.
The cost is $39.95 for a one month individual subscription and $14.95 for the
accompanying workbook.

EVALUATIONS OF PROGRAM

Lagges, A.M. &
Gordon, D.A. (1999). Use of an interactive laserdisc parent training program
with teenage parents. Child and Family Behavior Therapy 21(1), 19-37.

Evaluated population:
The study sample consisted of fifty pregnant
or parenting adolescents in a high school sponsored program, GRADS (Graduation,
Reality, and Dual Role Skills), designed to educate adolescent parents on
subjects such as prenatal care and child care, help them deal with issues faced
by adolescent parents, and plan for their future. The sample was drawn from
eight classes of GRAD students located in one county in Ohio. The study
participants were all female, and mostly Caucasian, single, and living with
their parents. The average reported family income was $15,000 to $20,000. The
average age of the participants was 16.9, and they had an average of 11 years of
education.

Approach:
The researchers randomly assigned participants in 8 GRAD classes to either an
experimental group or a control group. Data were collected on parenting
knowledge, parenting attitude, parenting self-efficacy, quality and quantity of
time spent with their children, the frequency of spanking their children, and
their empathy with children subjected to coercive parenting. Additionally,
participants were asked to respond to four parenting scenarios which were coded
based on use of effective parenting skills. Data were collected prior to the PAW
program and again 8 weeks after the program.

Results:
Participants in the experimental group (i.e., PAW program participants)
increased their parenting skills and their belief in their ability to apply
adaptive parenting over coercive parenting, when compared with control
participants. The researchers concluded that the PAW program was effective for
improving parenting skill and parenting self-efficacy. Since these differences
were measured 8 weeks after the end of the program, the researchers suggest that
gains from the PAW program are retained.

Limitations of the
study were that several of the measures used (i.e., parental attitudes
questionnaire and parenting knowledge test) were designed for studies of the PAW
program and thus have limited psychometric validation. Second, the study did not
address behavior change but rather self-reported measures were collected.
Additionally, the sample is small and not nationally representative, and results
of perceptions and beliefs may not generalize beyond this population. Further,
the study excluded men from the analyses and does not account for the program
influence on fathers. Finally, the program did not randomly assign participants
but rather randomly assigned classes to a treatment or control group.

Kacir, C.D. &
Gordon, D.A. (1999). Parenting Adolescents Wisely: The effectiveness of an
interactive videodisk parent training program in Appalachia. Child and Family
Behavior Therapy (21)
4, 1-22.

Evaluated
population:
The study sample consisted of 38 mothers of children from middle
and high schools in Appalachian southern Ohio. Children in the study were
between the ages of 12 and 18 with an average age of 14. 19 of the children were
male and 14 were currently or previously involved with child protective
services. 6 of the children had been to juvenile court. Mothers in the study
were Caucasian, with a mean age of 40, and with a median household income of
$10,001 to $20,000. Slightly more than half of the mothers were married and the
rest were single or divorced.

Approach:
Participants were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group.
Measures consisted of parent self-report questionnaires. Data were collected on
parent perceptions of child behavior problems, how well parents implement
parenting skills, and parenting knowledge. The treatment group received the PAW
program and was allowed to work at their own pace, taking up to three sessions.
The median number of sessions was three, and the average time to complete the
PAW program was two weeks. Data were collected from participants prior to the
PAW program and again one month after completing the program. Data on parenting
behaviors and parent perceptions of child behavior problems were collected again
between three and five months after completion of the PAW program.

Results: At
the one-month follow-up, mothers in the PAW group reported an increased
knowledge of parenting practices and lower frequency of child problem behaviors
when compared with the control group. The lower frequency of child behavior
problems was also seen at the four-month follow-up. However, no significant
differences were found on parent self-report of parenting practices. Overall,
the effect size for all three measures was .46. The researchers concluded that
the PAW program was a good way to teach parents in rural Appalachia parenting
skills as well as reduce child behavior problems.

Limitations of this
study were that the outcomes were measured indirectly through parent self-report
and only one reporter, the parent, provided data. In addition, two of the
measures used (i.e., parental attitudes questionnaire and parenting knowledge
test) were designed for studies of the PAW program and thus have limited
psychometric validation. Finally, the study only examined outcomes at 1 and 4
month follow-ups; therefore longer term generalizations cannot be made.

Woodruff, C.M.,
Gordon, D.A., & Lobo, T.R. (1999). Reaching high-risk families through
home-based parent training: A comparison of interactive CD-ROM and self-help
parenting programs. Manuscript submitted for publication. Athens: University of
Ohio.

Evaluated
population:
The study sample consisted of 80 parents and their children who
were enrolled in fourth, fifth or sixth grade at schools in rural Southeastern
Ohio. The families were from rural Appalachia and had low-income and
low-education levels.

Approach:
The parents were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: Parenting Wisely
(PW) or Principles of Parenting (POP), a set of pamphlets designed to improve
parenting skills; thus, there is not a no-treatment control group. Parents
completed a series of scales measuring parental depression, family functioning,
child behavior, and their children completed scales measuring parental
involvement in school and family and academic self concept three times during
the study: once before parents received their assigned treatment, again six
weeks after the treatment, and again six months after parents had received the
treatment. Participants receiving the PW treatment completed the CD-ROM program
in a single 2-hour session, while participants receiving the POP treatment read
the pamphlets given them, which took approximately 1.5-2 hours.

Results: The
treatment groups for both of the parenting programs reported lower levels of
parental depression and improved family functioning at the six-week follow up.
Participants in both programs also reported slight improvements in child
behavior, and these improvements were maintained through the six-month
follow-up. Though there were few significant differences in the efficacy of the
POP and PW programs, parents who used the PW program reported larger
improvements in child behavior than POP parents.

Rather than use a
no-treatment or delayed-treatment control group, this study used another type of
parenting intervention as a treatment for the control group. This study design
makes it difficult to ascertain the true benefits of the PAW program; however,
the researchers note that other studies have addressed this question. Further,
the measure of child self-concept may have been an inappropriate measure as many
of the children had difficulties understanding and answering the scale’s
questions.

Segal, D., Chen,
P. Y., Gordon, D. A., Kacir, C. D., & Gylys, J. (2003). Development and
evaluation of a parenting intervention program: Integration of scientific and
practical approaches. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction,
15(3),
453-467.

Evaluated
Population: 
42 parents in three outpatient mental health clinics. All
parents had children with behavior problems who were 11 to 18 years old. The
parents’ mean age was 42 years. The income reported by 86% of parents was less
than $25,000. 90% of parents were female and 45% were single parents.

Approach:
Parents were randomly assigned to either a non-interactive videotape (NV) or
interactive media (IM) treatment group. There was no control non-treatment
group in this study which limits potential evaluations of the effectiveness of
the program. Parents in the NV group watched a 1.5 hour video which
demonstrated positive and negative solutions to 9 behavior problems. Parents in
the IM group navigated a computer program made up of the same 9 behavior
problems and solutions. On average, it took parents 2.5 hours to complete the
computer program. Data were then collected from parents on scales designed to
measure learning of parenting skills, intervention usefulness, child adjustment,
child behaviors, and parental discipline strategies. Results pertaining to
child-outcomes, child adjustment and behavior, will be discussed in this review.

Results: In
both IM and NV treatment groups, parents reported fewer instances of child
misconduct after the intervention. Likewise, in both treatment groups, parents
reported that their children exhibited fewer negative behaviors after the
intervention. Parents in the NV group reported more positive behaviors in their
children after the intervention.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Gordon, D.A.
(2003). Intervening with troubled youth and their families: Functional Family
Therapy and Parenting Wisely. In J. McGuire (Ed.) Treatment and
Rehabilitation of offenders.
Sussex, England: John Wiley and Sons.

Kacir, C.D. &
Gordon, D.A. (1999). Parenting Adolescents Wisely: The effectiveness of an
interactive videodisk parent training program in Appalachia. Child and Family
Behavior Therapy (21)
4, 1-22.

Lagges, A.M. &
Gordon, D.A. (1999). Use of an interactive laserdisc parent training program
with teenage parents. Child and Family Behavior Therapy 21(1), 19-37.

O’Neill, H. &
Woodward, R. (2002). Evaluation of the Parenting Wisely CD-ROM Parent-Training
Programme: An Irish replication. Irish Journal of Psychology 23(1-2),
62-72.

Segal, D., Chen, P.
Y., Gordon, D. A., Kacir, C. D., & Gylys, J. (2003). Development and evaluation
of a parenting intervention program: Integration of scientific and practical
approaches. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 15(3),
453-467.

Woodruff, C.M.,
Gordon, D.A., & Lobo, T.R. (1999). Reaching high-risk families through
home-based parent training: A comparison of interactive CD-ROM and self-help
parenting programs. Manuscript submitted for publication. Athens: University of
Ohio

Link to program
curriculum:

http://www.familyworksinc.com/

Contact
information

Family Works, Inc.

1005 East State
Street, Suite G
Athens, Ohio 45701-3751
Phone: 740-593-9505
TOLL-FREE: 866-234-WISE
Fax 740-594-2521
e-mail: info@familyworksinc.com

KEYWORDS:
Parent-Child Relationship, Behavioral Problems, Adolescents (12-17),
Community or Media Campaign, Parent or Family Component, Children (3-11),
Adolescent Mothers, White or Caucasian, Female Only, Males and Females (Co-ed),
High School, Parent Training/Education, Juvenile Offenders, Rural, Young Adults
(18-24), Middle School, Depression, Academic Self Concept, Other
Social/Emotional Health, Manual is Available, Cost is Available.

Program
information last updated 5/24/11