Design and evaluation of the parent education component of a comprehensive violence prevention project in middle schools

Nancy Goshorn Murray, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Low parental monitoring is related to youth risk behaviors such as delinquency and aggression. The purpose of this dissertation was to describe the development and evaluation of a parent education intervention to increase parental monitoring in Hispanic parents of middle school children. The first study described the process of intervention mapping as used to develop Padres Trabajando por la Paz, a newsletter intervention for parents. Using theory, empirical literature, and information from the target population, performance objectives and determinants for monitoring were defined. Learning objectives were specified and a staged social-cognitive approach was used to develop methods and strategies delivered through newsletters. The second study examined the outcomes of a randomized trial of the newsletter intervention. Outcome measures consisted of a general measure of monitoring, parent and child reports of monitoring behaviors targeted by the intervention, and psychosocial determinants of monitoring (self-efficacy, norms, outcome expectancies, knowledge, and beliefs). Seventy-seven parents completed the randomized trial, half of which received four newsletters over an eight-week period. Results revealed a significant interaction effect for baseline and treatment for parent's reports of norms for monitoring (p =.009). Parents in the experimental condition who scored low at baseline reported increased norms for monitoring at follow-up. A significant interaction effect for child reports of parental monitoring behaviors (p =.04) reflected an small increase across baseline levels in the experimental condition and decreases for the control condition at higher baseline scores. Both groups of parents reported increased levels of monitoring at follow-up. No other outcome measures varied significantly by condition. The third study examined the relationship between the psychosocial determinants of parental monitoring and parental monitoring behaviors in the study population. Weak evidence for a relationship between outcome expectancies and parental monitoring behaviors suggests further research in the area utilizing stronger empirical models such as longitudinal design and structural equation modeling. The low-cost, minimal newsletter intervention showed promise for changing norms among Hispanic parents for parental monitoring. In light of the importance of parental monitoring as a protective factor for youth health risk behaviors, more research needs to be done to develop and evaluate interventions to increase parental monitoring.

Subject Area

Public health|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology|Academic guidance counseling|Adult education|Continuing education|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Murray, Nancy Goshorn, "Design and evaluation of the parent education component of a comprehensive violence prevention project in middle schools" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9715366.