Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 3231–3244 | Cite as

A Systematic Literature Review of the ACT Raising Safe Kids Parenting Program

  • Luciana Barbalho PontesEmail author
  • Aline Cardoso Siqueira
  • Lucia Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Williams
Review Paper



The ACT Raising Safe Kids Program is a research-based parenting intervention developed by the American Psychological Association to teach caregivers positive parenting skills and prevent violence. It has been implemented and evaluated in several countries. This study conducted a systematic review of the literature evaluating the ACT Program to identify its current state of the art.


Reporting follows PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols) guidelines. Searches were conducted from 2000 to October 2018 in the following databases: CAPES, PsycINFO, SciELO, Scopus and Web of Science.


Thirteen empirical studies evaluating the program were found: 3 evaluated workshops for facilitators and 10 evaluated caregiver-training programs. All studies reported positive effects of the ACT program on knowledge held by both facilitators and caregivers, such as significant increase of positive parenting and decrease of corporal punishment. Overall 10 studies demonstrated the effectiveness of the program, 4 of these using quasi-experimental research designs and 6 studies through pre-experimental research designs. Three assessed the program’s efficacy by using experimental group designs with randomized controlled trials (RCT). Retention rates of the interventions are compared and research strategies to foster retention are listed. The authors of the studies identified the data collected exclusively on self-reports as one of the main limitations, and suggested the use of third-party information and/or observational measures to evaluate direct behavior changes.


The ACT Program’s current state of the art is promising, and further RCT studies are needed to consolidate it as an evidence-based parenting program.


Parent training Child abuse Program evaluation Violence prevention Literature review 



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001 and by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Brazil [Grant #2013/05007-3].

Author Contributions

L.B.P. and L.C.A.W.: conceptualized the review. L.B.P. conducted the review steps and wrote the paper. A.C.S.: assisted with the data analyses. L.C.A.W.: collaborated with the discussion and writing of the paper. All authors contributed to the revision of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciana Barbalho Pontes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aline Cardoso Siqueira
    • 2
  • Lucia Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.The Laboratory of Violence Analysis and Prevention (LAPREV), Department of PsychologyFederal University of Sao Carlos. Rod. Washington Luís, km 235São CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Federal University of Sao CarlosSão CarlosBrazil

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