Supporting Parents Who Have Youth with Emotional Disturbances Through a Parent-to-Parent Support Program: A Proof of Concept Study Using Random Assignment

  • Krista KutashEmail author
  • Albert J. Duchnowski
  • Amy L. Green
  • John M. Ferron
Original Paper


Poor outcomes for youth who have emotional disturbances (ED), especially for those youth who are placed in special education programs, are well documented. Parent Connectors is a parent-to-parent support program delivered through weekly telephone calls to families of youth with ED in special education programs, with the aim of increasing the engagement of parents in their child’s education and treatment and improving the academic and emotional functioning of the child. Findings from a proof of concept study using random assignment of participants yielded encouraging support for the clinical efficacy of the intervention. Results demonstrated enhanced outcomes for parents who were highly strained at the beginning of the study. Implications for future research in the area of parent support are provided.


Parent support Emotional disturbance Children’s mental health services Academic functioning 



This study was supported in part by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs, Grant number H324C040040.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krista Kutash
    • 1
    Email author
  • Albert J. Duchnowski
    • 1
  • Amy L. Green
    • 1
  • John M. Ferron
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family StudiesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Measurement and ResearchUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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