Differential Effects of Motivational Parent Management Training (MPMT) On the Parenting Practices of a Community Corrections Sample
Few parenting studies with the corrections population have utilized randomized clinical trials and, of those, none reported on parenting behaviors as outcome variables nor were the effects of the intervention tracked across time. We address these gaps. Does a parenting program that targets community corrections-involved parents also at risk for child welfare system involvement improve parenting behaviors? If so, what factors are more likely to predict positive outcomes? Do these effects endure across time?
152 parents (74 female) involved with the community corrections system were randomly assigned in this longitudinal clinical trial to control (CAU: n= 72) or MPMT intervention ( n = 80), a motivational version of Parent Management Training designed to target criminogenic beliefs and reduce substance abuse as well as promote positive parenting techniques and reduce harsh forms of parenting. Data were collected at baseline, intervention completion (6 months) and at 18 months follow-up. A latent class analysis (LCA) on key risk factors was performed to assess differential effects.
The LCA yielded five classes. One class consisted primarily of people living full-time with partners and children and with lower levels of reported alcohol and drug use. The second class was disproportionately male with higher likelihood of poverty and higher levels of drug use and poor impulse control but no child welfare involvement. The third class was marked by persistent use of street drugs. The fourth class consisted of people not living with partners or children and with few impulse challenges. The last class, disproportionately female, was made up of people not living with partners with the highest levels of poverty and child welfare involvement.
The GLMs indicate an increase in positive parenting observations is differential based on class membership within the intervention group (p = .054), with the first two classes listed above demonstrating more positive parenting behaviors. Both effects are significant at intervention completion but dissipate by follow-up.
Findings indicate an interaction of class by intervention in parent report of child behavior concerns (p = .036) with the first two classes reporting more problem behaviors at intervention; contrasts indicate this is a curvilinear relationship over time, with significantly fewer behaviors at follow-up. This same class*intervention interaction is indicated in parent reports of child prosocial behavior, with children demonstrating a trend toward higher levels of prosocial behavior (p = .089).
Overall, reductions in poor parenting were significant at intervention completion but not at follow-up. However, the intervention appears to be differential in its effects on children’s behaviors whose parents were from Classes 1&2: parents became more sensitive to problem behaviors, thus reporting more problem behaviors by completion but apparently addressing those behaviors successfully by follow-up. Thus the increase on overall problems in relationship to the increase in prosocial behavior may be seen as an increase in parents’ abilities to recognize problematic behavior rather than an actual increase in behavior problems.