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Annu Rev Psychol. 2011;62:299-329. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.121208.131619.

Long-term impact of prevention programs to promote effective parenting: lasting effects but uncertain processes.

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1
Prevention Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-6005, USA. irwin.sandler@asu.edu

Abstract

This article reviews findings from 46 randomized experimental trials of preventive parenting interventions. The findings of these trials provide evidence of effects to prevent a wide range of problem outcomes and to promote competencies from one to 20 years later. However, there is a paucity of evidence concerning the processes that account for program effects. Three alternative pathways are proposed as a framework for future research on the long-term effects of preventive parenting programs: (a) through program effects on parenting skills, perceptions of parental efficacy, and reduction in barriers to effective parenting; (b) through program-induced reductions in short-term problems of youth that persist over time, improvements in youth adaptation to stress, and improvements in youth belief systems concerning the self and their relationships with others; and (c) through effects on contexts in which youth become involved and on youth-environment transactions.

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