Temcheff, C.E., Letarte, M.J., Boutin, S., Marcil, K. (2018). Common components of evidence-based parenting programs for preventing maltreatment of school-age children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 80, 226–237.
Child maltreatment can lead to a variety of negative outcomes in childhood including physical and mental health problems that can extend into adulthood. Given the transactional nature of child maltreatment and the difficulties that many maltreating families experience, child protection services typically offer various kinds of programs to maltreated children, their parents, and/or their families. Although the specific difficulties experienced by these families may vary, sub-optimal parenting practices are typically part of the picture and may play a central role in maltreated children’s development. Hence, to deal with child maltreatment, programs that focus on parenting practices are essential, and identifying the common components of effective programs is of critical importance. The objectives of the present study were to: 1) describe the components of evidence-based parenting programs aimed at parents who have maltreated their elementary school-aged children or are at-risk for doing so and 2) identify the components that are common to these programs, using the approach proposed by Barth and Liggett-Creel (2014). Fourteen evidence-based parenting programs aimed at parents who had maltreated their elementary school-aged children (ages 6–12) or were at-risk for doing so were identified using both a review of relevant online databases of evidence-based programs (California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, Youth.gov, and the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices). Common components were identified (operationalized as components present in two thirds of programs) and discussed. The identification of common components of evidence-based programs may help clinicians choose the best intervention methods.