The Chicago Parent Program

The Chicago Parent Program

Teaching Better Ways to Address Difficult Children’s Behavioral Problems

Background & Goal

Most programs to enhance parenting skills and reduce behavior problems in young children are designed for white, middle-class parents – yet parents of color and those raising children in low-income neighborhoods may not share the same values or face the same child rearing challenges. Consequently, many parenting programs are not perceived as relevant or useful across different cultural and economic groups.

The Chicago Parent Program was created in partnership with African American and Latinx parents from different economic backgrounds to help strengthen parenting skills and effectively manage young children’s difficult behaviors. This evidence-based program is designed to help parents tailor effective parenting strategies to their goals and values.


Program Description

The Chicago Parent Program (CPP) is a 12-session parenting program, designed to reduce behavior problems in young children by strengthening parenting skills and confidence. In weekly meetings, a series of 157 videotaped vignettes of real parents and children filmed in various settings are used to stimulate discussion and problem-solving among a group of parents on how to manage difficult, real-life child behaviors. The CPP has been implemented in at least 19 states and the District of Columbia in schools, early childhood agencies, and mental health clinics.

Evidence of Success

  • A randomized trial of seven day care centers serving low-income families in Chicago showed significant decreases in child behavior problems (based on parent and independent observer ratings) and parent reliance on corporal punishment. Effects were maintained up to one-year post-intervention.
  • A randomized trial in Baltimore comparing CPP with another parenting program considered to be a gold standard demonstrated that CPP was equally as effective for reducing child behavior problems among children with a mental health diagnosis but cost about 50% less to deliver; parent satisfaction was also higher for CPP.

For More Information Contact:


Deborah Gross, DNSc, RN, FAAN
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Susan Breitenstein, PhD, RN, FAAN
The Ohio State University College of Nursing
Wrenetha Julion, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, and Christine Garvey, PhD, RN (ret.)
Rush University College of Nursing

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