Effectiveness of a multiple family group intervention for juvenile first offenders in reducing parent stress

Christopher Les Caldwell, Arthur M. Horne, Bernard Davidson, William H. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Parenting practices are major influences on incidents of juvenile delinquency. Stress experienced by parents of children with behavioral problems is a leading contributor to parenting practices. We investigated the extent to which parental stress was reduced by participation in an established multiple group family intervention, the Family Solutions Program, developed to reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders. We also examined parent stress by gender, ethnicity, dropout rates, intervention benefits at 3-month follow-up, single- versus two-parent households, and across dimensions of family functioning and parent-adolescent communication. Parents reported greater levels of parent stress than non-clinical parents prior to intervention. Parental stress did diminish in response to intervention, but not until follow-up to intervention completion. No differences were found on initial parent stress level between completers and non-completers of the intervention or between parent stress and gender or ethnicity of the parent; however, single-parent household was associated with significantly higher levels of parent stress. Family functioning was significantly negatively correlated with parental stress. Finally, open communication between juvenile first offenders and their parents improved significantly in response to the intervention both at post-intervention and at follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-459
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Family intervention
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Parental stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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