Chicago Parent Program Matches ‘Gold Standard’

Chicago Parent Program Matches ‘Gold Standard’

A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing suggests that the Chicago Parent Program (CPP), a group-based parent management training program developed by Professor Deborah Gross, DNSC, RN, FAAN, is as effective at decreasing child behavior problems as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), the “gold standard” among such programs. The study also found that CPP took less time to complete and cost about 50 percent less to implement.

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 158 mostly low-income parents were randomized to CPP or PCIT. They were selected from among those seeking treatment for behavior problems of children ages 2–5 in an urban mental health clinic between 2012 and 2016. Child behavior problems were assessed at baseline, post intervention, and then four months later using the standardized Child Behavior Checklist. Researchers found the programs equally effective at reducing child behavior problems. A comparison of per-participant costs showed CPP at $840 vs. $1,669 for PCIT.

“These results are a breakthrough in terms of measuring parenting programs, particularly among low-income families experiencing adversity,” says Gross. “The Chicago Parent Program appears to be a cost-effective alternative to PCIT and targets a segment of the population that has been traditionally left out of reaping the benefits from parenting programs.” Gross developed CPP in 2002 to specifically target this population.

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