Model Family Programs for Delinquency Prevention
Rating * Exemplary Target * 3-7 Speciality * Parent Training
Program * Helping the Noncompliant Child
Description *

  The "Helping the Noncompliant Child" parent training program by Forehand and McMahon, (1981) is based on a parent training program originally developed by Dr. Constance Hanf. The long-term goals of the parent training program are: secondary prevention of serious conduct problems in preschool and early elementary school-aged children and the primary prevention of subsequent juvenile delinquency. Short-term and intermediate objectives include: a) disruption of coercive styles of parent-child interaction and establishment of positive, prosocial interaction patterns, b) improved parenting skills, c) increased child prosocial behaviors and decreased conduct problem behaviors. The program is designed for parents and their 3-8 year old children with noncompliance and/or other conduct problems. It has also been used with other high risk populations of children and parents.

Sessions are typically conducted with individual families rather than in groups. Parents and children participate in weekly 60-90 minute sessions (average number of sessions is 10). The program consists of a series of parenting skills designed to help the parent break out of the coercive cycle of interaction with the child by increasing positive attention for appropriate child behavior, ignoring minor inappropriate behaviors, providing clear instructions to the child, and providing appropriate consequences for compliance (positive attention) and noncompliance (time out). Skills are taught using extensive demonstration, role plays, and direct practice with the child in the training setting and at home. Progression from one skill to the next is based upon demonstrated proficiency.

Extensive research has demonstrated effectiveness of this program in helping children successfully adapt. Short-term effectiveness and setting generalization from the clinic to the home have been demonstrated for both parent and child behaviors as well as parents' perceptions of their children. Child compliance and inappropriate behavior have been shown to improve to within the "normal" range by the end of training. Long-term followups up to 11-14 years after training support the effectiveness of the program. High parental satisfaction with the program has been documented.

    Contact * Robert J. McMahon, Ph.D. 
    Address* University of Washington
Department of Psychology, Box 351525 
        Seattle, WA  98195-1525
    Phone * 206 543-5136
    Email  * 
    Dept. of Health Promotion and Education

Funded by - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention