The Evidence Portal


About the program

ParentCorps is a program from the USA which involves school personnel (mental health professionals and teachers) facilitating a parenting intervention with parents, and a concurrent group with children. ParentCorps takes a behavioural change approach. The program includes core behavioural change strategies that are found in other parenting interventions (e.g., The Incredible Years, Triple P), combined with a culturally informed approach. The intervention aims to strengthen the following three key domains of parenting: positive behaviour support (e.g., reinforcement, proactive strategies), behaviour management (e.g., consistent consequences), and parent involvement in early learning (e.g., reading to children, communicating with teachers).

Who does it work for?

ParentCorps is designed to serve culturally diverse communities. One RCT was conducted with a final sample of 561 children in the intervention group, and 489 in the control group (Dawson-McClure et al. 2015). It involved interviews and questionnaires with the children and parents at the beginning and end of the school year. There were ten participating schools from two school districts in New York City with high levels of socioeconomic disadvantage. The mean age of the children was 4.15 years, the mean age of the caregivers was 33.9 years, 85% of participants were non-Latinx Black, and 60.8% were identified as low income.

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

What outcomes does it contribute to?

Positive outcomes:

Parenting practices: The study demonstrated positive intervention effects on parenting practices such as parenting knowledge, positive behaviour support and teacher-rated parent involvement (Dawson-McClure et al., 2015).

No effect:

Child conduct: No effect was found.

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 ParentCorps family program is run over 13 weeks, with a 2-hour sessions each week for parents of children aged 0-5, and concurrent sessions for children held at the school. Face-to-face groups in school settings are provided by trained residents and social workers. These facilitators undertake a professional development program: 5 days in year 1 and 2 days in years 2 – 4, and 6 hours of consultation per year. The teachers who co-lead the family program receive one hour of training a week for 13 weeks. A professional development program for teachers includes large group-based activities to introduce strategies and consultation to facilitate the adoption and tailoring of strategies.

A number of incentives such as meals and gift cards are used to facilitate extrinsic motivation for families to participate in the program. The program is promoted through flyers and brief informational sessions at school events with parents who completed the program previously. Teachers engage parents in-person and by phone. During the initial parent group session, facilitators work with families to identify barriers to attendance and elicit parents’ intrinsic motivation and commitment to attend as consistently as possible. Weekly reminder calls and “We missed you” flyers are also used.

How much does it cost?

Information not available.

Where does the evidence come from?

One RCT was conducted in the USA with 1050 children and 831 parents, with analysis based on the final sample of 561 children. The study involved interviews and questionnaires with both children and parents at the beginning and end of the school year (Dawson-McClure et al. 2015).

Further resources

  • Dawson-McClure, S et al. (2015). “A population-level approach to promoting healthy child development and school success in low-income, urban neighborhoods: impact on parenting and child conduct problems.” Prevention Science 16(2): 279-290.
Last updated:

16 Feb 2023

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