The Future of Parenting Programs: I Design

Marc H. Bornstein, Lucie Cluver, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Nancy E. Hill, Justin Jager, Sonya Krutikova, Richard M. Lerner, Hirokazu Yoshikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


SYNOPSIS: Parenting programs worldwide (and especially in low- and middle-income countries) support parents in their caregiving roles. Parenting programs are popular and prolific, but many outright fail to deliver meaningful effects or eventuate in only small effects. Incomplete consideration and execution of many design features of programs can account for these shortfalls. This article delimits several critical criteria surrounding successful design and evaluation of evidence-based parenting programs. Specific factors include important preliminary questions concerning details of program design, such as whether the topic of the parenting program specifies the aspect(s) of parenting to be encouraged or discouraged and what theory of change underlies the program; program design contents concern subject matter development, sources, and messages; program design components specify the delivery mode, effectiveness, location, and alignment; program design targeting and sampling concern whom the program is addressing, why, and whether the program is designed to be universal or targeted to a specific population; ensuring reliable and valid program measurement; and rigorous experimental standards that encompass evaluating program effectiveness, including randomized control trial or quasi-experimental designs and the selection of control and comparison conditions. Policy makers, program leaders, investigators, and, of course, parents and children all benefit when parenting programs are well designed.Objective.Design.Results.Conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-234
Number of pages34
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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