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Parent Training Programs for Ethnic Minorities: a Meta-analysis of Adaptations and Effect

  • van Mourik, K.1
  • Crone, M. R.1
  • de Wolff, M. S.2
  • Reis, R.1, 3, 4
  • 1 Leiden University Medical Center, Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden, 2300 RC, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
  • 2 TNO Child Health, Leiden, The Netherlands , Leiden (Netherlands)
  • 3 University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 4 University of Cape Town, School of Child and Adolescent Health, the Children’s Institute, Cape Town, South Africa , Cape Town (South Africa)
Published Article
Prevention Science
Springer US
Publication Date
Nov 23, 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s11121-016-0733-5
Springer Nature


This meta-analysis focuses on parent training programs for ethnic minority families and reports on (i) the adaptation of program content and (ii) the process that informs these adaptations. Relevant studies are reviewed to determine the adaptations made and the impact of the adaptations on parenting and child outcomes. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they enrolled predominantly ethnic minority parents with children aged 0–12 years, used a randomized controlled trial design with post-intervention assessments, focused on group-based parent training programs and on prevention of parenting problems, and reported parenting behavior outcomes. A total of 18 studies were included in the analysis. The results show that parent training programs targeting ethnic minority parents have a small but significant effect on improving parenting behavior (k = 18, Cohen’s d = 0.30), child outcomes (k = 16, Cohen’s d = 0.13), and parental perspectives (k = 8, Cohen’s d = 0.19). Most of the programs made adaptations related to surface and deep structure sensitivity. Programs with cultural adaptations, especially deep structure sensitivity (k = 7, Cohen’s d = 0.54), are more effective in improving parenting behavior. Because only a third of the included studies provided details on the processes that guided the adaptations made, additional studies are needed to provide information on the process of adaptation; this will enable others to learn from the procedures that can be undertaken to culturally adapt interventions.

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