Parents Evaluate Effectiveness of Culturally Relevant Parenting Interventions

Parenting interventions are aimed at teaching parents how to engage with their children in positive and adaptive ways in order to achieve a behaviorally and emotionally harmonious and productive outcome for both the child and parent. For minority parents, management training strategies that do not include culturally relevant topics and values may not be as effective as culturally enhanced interventions. Jose Ruben Parra-Cardona of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University was concerned with how traditional interventions based on the Euro-American culture would impact the parenting characteristics of Latinos. Latino children are more vulnerable to negative mental health issues than their peers because of the discrimination and ethnic differences they experience. Rates of depression, suicide, academic problems, substance abuse, and anxiety are higher for Latino adolescents than their Euro-American equivalents. For his study, Parra-Cardona chose to enroll 24 Latino parents in one of two parenting management training courses to gauge his results.

The first management program was based on the Parent Management Training Oregon model (PMTO) and was entitled CAPAS: Raising Children with Love, Promoting Harmony and Self-Improvement. The PMTO version has been used for nearly half a century with positive results. Parents who have participated in PMTO have successfully helped their children overcome negative behaviors that have been shown to be maintained long-term. The second program was a culturally enhanced version of CAPAS that stressed Latino cultural values.

Parra-Cardona assessed the parents after they completed either the CAPAS-enhanced or CAPAS and found that core issues such as discipline and skill building were equally beneficial for both groups. The parents in the enhanced program reported high levels of positive feedback due to the focus on culturally relevant topics such as immigration. They also noted that they felt the program could be improved by increasing the amount of time dedicated to cultural issues that impact their ability to parent effectively through a broad range of experiences and challenges such as discrimination. “Furthermore, and according to Latino parents’ own voices, qualitative data confirmed that culture informs their lives in profound ways and remains at the core of their most relevant parenting experiences,” said Parra-Cardona.

Parra-Cardona, J. R., Domenech-Rodriguez, M., Forgatch, M., Sullivan, C., Bybee, D. (2012). Culturally adapting an evidence-based parenting intervention for Latino immigrants: The need to integrate fidelity and cultural relevance. Family Process, 51.1, 56-72.

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Solace


    May 11th, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    I happen to think that this kind of parental intervention model is particularly effective, especially in communities where cultural values are far more heavily emphasized and deemed important than maybe it is in the traditional whie American society. There are many ethnic groups who very much hang on to the ways that they were raised by their parents and the cultural relevance and identification for them is very strong. Therefore not only intervening with a parenting model that will work well across the entire spectrum of society as well as addressing the key cultural issues that are going to be of more concern to them is highly important when it comes to educating them and giving them skills that can be used in the home to become better parents and role models.

  • Corrinne W

    Corrinne W

    May 11th, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    good parenting knows no boundaries
    what makes a good parent in one culture is the same as in another
    you just have to love your child unconditionally and offer them support and guidance throughout the journey to adulthood
    different cultures may provide that in a different way but it all boils down to giving them the same things no matter who they are or where they grow up

  • Gaines


    May 12th, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    How can you say that Hispanics still experience so much discrimination when we all know that in reality they are hardly even a minority here in the US anymore?

  • Miguel Serrano

    Miguel Serrano

    May 12th, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    i think that the article itself is flawed because most parenting programs are not designed for Hispanics. It should be noticed that Hispanics have a history of 500 years and they have deviated very little from their cultural values: The problem is that in our society, we come up with parenting program almost every year: This confuses any parent regardless of cultural background. all in all, there are no cultural sensitive programs for Hispanics.

  • Miguel Serrano

    Miguel Serrano

    May 12th, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    As far as the comments above:
    (1) parenting has no bounds.
    I beg to differ. If this were the case, all we had to do was to follow some idea that can only be implemented in one’s head–and resolved. I do think that we have to have a balance between high love and high discipline, in order, to be effective.

    2) just because there is a large population of Hispanics in this country, it does not mean that they don’t suffer descrimination: turn the television on–in one state or another, there passing laws against Hispanics: these Hispanics have children; whatever affect their parents, affects them. This is not a question of minority: This is a question of rights.

  • Evan Wilson

    Evan Wilson

    May 14th, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    When there are many strong cultural influences in the home then that is certain to have a huge effect on how they choose to raise their children. I am just a plain old American from the south, but even though I am not from another country, I think for my parents it was all about instilling in their kids that small town mentality that they grew up with. I am thankful for that and even though I was raised in a certain way, I don’t think that it has limited me. Give your children the important parts of your culture, but not to the extent that it is going to stunt them and leave them behind in society. I don’t think that there is any parent who intentionally wants to do that.

  • Brandt


    May 14th, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I would love to see how this issue infiltrates ther cultures besides Lations only.
    I have seen other cultures, especially Asian cultures, that are very heavily influenced by culture and background.
    It seems a lot more prevalent in those cultures who are somehow able to maintain their own identities while at the same time also blending into our little sald bowl society.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of's Terms and Conditions of Use.

* Indicates required field.

GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.