The Evidence Portal

Chicago Parent Program

About the program

The Chicago Parent Program (CPP) was developed in collaboration with a parent advisory group of African American and Latinx parents from a range of economic backgrounds. The CPP is grounded in the assumption that parents play a critical role in shaping a child’s behaviour and personality both as role models, as social learning theory suggests, and through the quality and consistency of behavioural interaction. The goals of the program are to improve parent self-efficacy, discipline strategies, and parent behaviour during free play and clean-up sessions, and to reduce the frequency of child behaviour problems.

Who does it work for?

An RCT was conducted with a sample of 985 families (final sample size of 292), across seven day-care centres in Chicago, USA (Gross et al. 2009). Study participants had children aged 2 to 4 years old. Just over half of the sample were African American (51.9%), 37% were Latino, and 8.1% were White.

The review did not identify any evidence that the program has been evaluated in Australia or with First Nations communities.

What outcomes does it contribute to?

Positive outcomes:

Corporal/physical punishment/discipline, Parenting efficacy, Consistent discipline, Parental warmth: At the 12-month assessment, parents in the intervention group used less corporal punishment and issued fewer commands with their children than parents in the control group. Additional group differences were observed when dosage was included in the analytic model. Parents who participated in at least 50% of CPP sessions also reported greater improvements in parenting self-efficacy, more consistent discipline, and greater warmth when compared to reports from parents in the control group.

No effect:


Negative outcomes:


Is the program effective?

Overall, the program had a positive effect on client outcomes.

How strong is the evidence?

Promising research evidence:

  • At least one high-quality RCT/QED study reports statistically significant positive effects for at least one outcome, AND
  • Fewer RCT/QED studies of similar size and quality show no observed effects than show statistically significant positive effects, AND
  • No RCT/QED studies show statistically significant adverse effects

How is it implemented?

The program consists of 11 weekly sessions and a post-program booster. The program is delivered in face-to-face, facilitated parent groups. Parents receive weekly homework assignments and handouts summarising important points from each session. The CPP capitalises on the strengths of the Webster-Stratton Incredible Years model as it also employs videotaped vignettes, a group discussion format that corresponds to principles being addressed in each of the vignettes, and a collaborative interpersonal style for guiding the way group leaders engage parents in the intervention.

How much does it cost?

Information not available

Where does the evidence come from?

An RCT was conducted with an initial sample size of 985 families and a final sample size of 292 parents, across seven day care centres in Chicago, USA (Gross et al. 2009).

Further resources

  • Gross, D., et al. (2009). “Efficacy of the Chicago parent program with low-income African American and Latino parents of young children.” Prevention Science 10(1): 54-65.
Last updated:

16 Feb 2023

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