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Kohl receives funding to evaluate parent training program

Patricia Kohl, Ph.D.’06, has received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to evaluate the effectiveness of Pathways Triple P, an innovative parent training program, on preventing and treating behavior problems among high-risk children in the child welfare system.

“Children in the child welfare system are at higher risk for serious behavior problems,” said Dr. Kohl, assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University and principal investigator of the study. “We want to determine if this program can improve the outcomes for one of our country’s most vulnerable populations, and help ensure that they fulfill their full potential in life.”

Triple P was developed about thirty years ago as an intervention to reduce child behavior problems. The program provides five levels of parent education and training techniques at different levels of intensity depending on specific situations. Trainings range from level one, which includes general information about child parenting and child development to all parents; to level five (Pathways Triple P), which includes a series of intensive home-based sessions for parents who have been identified as being at risk for maltreating their children.

The program has been shown to work with high risk families, but it has never been tested in child welfare settings.

“This project will generate new knowledge in the area of child welfare, helping to more effectively target scarce federal dollars to better serve these children and their families,” added Kohl, who also is a faculty scholar at the School’s Center for Violence and Injury Prevention and its Center for Mental Health Services Research.