Mental Health

Choose and Use Guide for Finding Social-Emotional Programs for Parents

Finding Social-Emotional Parenting Programs

Head Start and Early Head Start programs are increasingly involved in efforts to assist adult family members in gaining parenting skills that can both promote positive social-emotional development and prevent challenging behaviors.

In recent years, a number of formal parenting curricula have been developed and researched. We have identified five such programs with promising effects.

Users can compare the five programs across a number of features that we think are critical to the likelihood of successful wide-spread adoption.

Current Office of Head Start funding is solely responsible for the existing interactive product, the dimensions upon which the Choose and Use Guide is implemented, and the suggested use of the guide.

List of Programs

  • Incredible Years: Parent Training: Strengthen parenting skills and foster parent involvement in children's school experiences to promote children's academic, social, and emotional competencies and reduce conduct problems. The program may be used as prevention or adapted for use with families of children with behavior problems or referred by Child Protective Services. It also may be delivered through a home visitor coach who has attended authorized training. Targets parents of children 0-6 years.
  • Triple P Standard: Prevent severe behavioral, emotional, and developmental problems in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills, and confidence of parents. The curriculum may be delivered with or without telephone consultation. Children can be included in some sessions to facilitate skills practice. It is delivered by psychologists, social workers, family therapists, counselors, parent educators, and school personnel. It targets parents of children birth to 12 years with more severe and multiple behavior problems, such as aggression or oppositional behavior.
  • Triple P Stepping Stones: Help families achieve lasting improvements in children's behavior and lifestyle and in the quality of family life. It may be conducted as combined group and individual delivery and may include home observation and practice sessions. The curriculum is delivered by a variety of health, education, and welfare professionals who counsel parents. The target audience is families of children birth to 12 years with a disability.
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Improve the quality of the parent-child relationship and increase parents' behavior management skills. The curriculum will help increase children's positive social behavior and decrease negative behavior. It targets families with children ages 2-7 who are experiencing a broad range of behavioral, emotional, and family problems.