A 2018 research study identified programs that effectively help parents enhance their communication and relationship skills, which in turn helps reduce emotional and behavioral problem’s children may have. The programs listed below were highlighted in a research article (cited below) about reducing conflict between parents. All of these programs had a positive effect on communication, co-parenting and parent-child relationships. If these programs aren’t available in your area, any program with the same goals can be effective if one or both parents are motivated to improve their child’s living environment.
Programs for parents who are still living together
- Becoming a Parent (focuses on transition to parenthood, skills training approach)
- Family Foundations (focuses on transition to parenthood, may help with parental depression)
- Bringing Baby Home (focuses on transition to parenthood, psychoeducational approach, may help with parental depression)
- Promoting Father’s Engagement with Children/Parents as Partners (focuses on early childhood, psychoeducational approach)
- School Children & their Families (focuses on early childhood, psychoeducational approach)
- Promoting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) (focuses on Adolescence)
- Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT)
- Happy Couples Happy Kids (psychoeducational approach)
- Couple Relationship Education (psychoeducational approach)
Programs that focus on parental separation/divorce and conflict reduction.
Research showed these all provided improvements to reducing parental conflict and stress, improving communication, and reducing child emotional and behavioral problems and increasing child cognitive functioning:
- Dads for Life (skills training)
- Collaborative Divorce Project (skills training)
- Kids in Divorce & Separation (K.I.D.S.) (psychoeducational approach)
Programs that focus on domestic violence
Five programs with a core focus on conflict within the interparental relationship. Research showed these programs helped parents:
- ‘En nu ik…!’ It’s my turn now…! (psychoeducational approach, decreased parenting stress, reduced children’s emotional and behavioral problems and post traumatic stress symptoms)
- Strengthening Relationships (psychoeducational and skills approach, improved parent’s communication and conflict resolution skills)
- Young Parenthood Program (YPP) (counseling approach, improved co-parenting)
- Couples Therapy for Intimate Partner violence (counseling approach, research showed some reduction in perpetrator violence)
- Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) (counseling approach, improved parent-child relationships)
Please note, programs that reduce children’s emotional and behavioral problems were a result of improved parenting.
Annual Research Review: Interparental conflict and youth psychopathology: an evidence review and practice focused update, Gordon T. Harold and Ruth Sellers, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59:4, pp 374-402 (2018). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpp.12893
Click here for a review of the whole article.