Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 47–65 | Cite as

Participation in “Parents Who Care”: Predicting Program Initiation and Exposure in Two Different Program Formats

  • Kevin P. HaggertyEmail author
  • Elizabeth P. MacKenzie
  • Martie L. Skinner
  • Tracy W. Harachi
  • Richard F. Catalano

Predictors of participation and exposure across two formats of a universal prevention program are examined here. Families of 225 8th-grade students, balanced by race (African American and European American) and gender, were assigned to a parent and adolescent group format (PAG) or a self-administered format (SA). Logistic regression showed greater program initiation in SA than in PAG. Hierarchical regression showed only one variable (parent high-risk behavior) to be associated with lower program exposure in the self-administered format. In contrast, demographic variables (e.g., being African American) predicted lower exposure in PAG. Overall, the findings of this study were notable in that most of the variables that have been identified in past research as lowering participation rates were not related to program initiation or level of exposure to either format of Parents Who Care. Further, the self-administered format may be particularly useful to increase program participation for families, even those who are traditionally difficult to reach.

Editors’ Strategic Implications: The authors make a promising contribution to the literature on program engagement by presenting experimental data highlighting different risk factors for nonparticipation across program formats. Their discussion of barriers will help program designers and practitioners decide on the most appropriate strategies for the dissemination of prevention-related materials to parents.


adolescence alcohol use drug abuse parenting prevention research prosocial behavior 



This paper was supported by Grant # R01-DA121645 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We wish to thank Susan Smith and Charles B. Fleming for their assistance with an earlier version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin P. Haggerty
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Elizabeth P. MacKenzie
    • 1
  • Martie L. Skinner
    • 1
  • Tracy W. Harachi
    • 1
  • Richard F. Catalano
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Development Research GroupUniversity of WashingtonWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Social Development Research GroupUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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