Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP)



First Advisor

Dr. Gabriel Ybarra

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Fisak


The efficacy of the Parent Project, a current group psychoeducational program for parents of at-risk adolescents, was explored in this investigation. In particular, determining whether a parent-focused psychoeducation approach would beneficially alter family interaction style as well as adolescent behavior was investigated. A within-subjects design was implemented to evaluate before and after treatment levels of function. The Parent Project psychoeducational program provided 34 participating parents with classroom instruction and processing time to help meet the participating parents with their 13- to 18- year-old children. The current sample of participating parents was referred to the Parent Project by the Child Guidance Center, Inc. and United Way of Jacksonville, FL.

The main goal of the Parent Project training program was to teach parents the skills necessary to reduce harmful adolescent behavior. The aim of the program is to inform parents about ways to enhance their relationships with their adolescent via prevention and intervention techniques, with the secondary goal of reducing the adolescents’ difficult, defiant, and destructive behaviors.

In the current investigation, parents reported enhanced family dynamics following their participation in the parenting psychoeducational program. In addition, a decline in adolescent externalizing behavior was found. These findings demonstrate that treatment programs targeting parents can effect change in families and in adolescents with behavioral problems.