Parenting Through Change

Objective: To prevent internalizing and externalizing conduct behaviors and associated problems; and promote of healthy child adjustment

Description: Based on the Parent Management Training–Oregon Model (PMTO), Parenting Through Change (PTC) is a theory-based intervention that provides recently separated single mothers with 14 weekly group sessions to learn effective parenting practices including skill encouragement, limit-setting, problem-solving, monitoring, and positive involvement. PTC also includes strategies to help parents decrease coercive exchanges with their children and use contingent positive reinforcements (e.g., praise, incentives) to promote prosocial behavior. Topics are presented in an integrated, step-by-step approach and are typically introduced in one or more sessions, then reviewed and revisited throughout the remainder of the program.

An adaptation of the program for use in battered women’s shelters and in low-income housing is currently underway in Minnesota. As of October 2006, implementation of PTC was in its fourth year of a 5-year grant at Utah State University with Spanish-speaking immigrants in one- and two-parent families.


  1. Internalizing behaviors: PTC participants showed significant decreases in internalizing behaviors at 30 months and 9 years post intervention.
  2. Externalizing behaviors: PTC participants showed significant decreases in externalizing behaviors over time
  3. Delinquency: Thirty-six months after the intervention, PTC participants had lower rates of delinquency than other youth, as measured by teacher reports
  4. Academic functioning: PTC participants typically produced improved homework quality, which predicted improved adaptive functioning and reading achievement. If participants were supported by effective parenting, they also experienced increased school adjustment.
  5. Noncompliance with mother’s directives: PTC participants typically scored lower than other youth in noncompliance

Population of Focus: Adolescents, Adults, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Children, Hispanic or Latino, Immigrants, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Transition aged, White, Women

Setting: Community center, Suburban, Urban

Level of Intervention: Family, Individual

Resources/Qualifications Needed: Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health


Marion S. Forgatch, Ph.D., Research Scientist
(541) 485-2711