Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 421–434

Evaluation of an Air Force Child Physical Abuse Prevention Project Using the Reliable Change Index

  • Ronald W. Thompson
  • Penney R. Ruma
  • Albert L. Brewster
  • Leasley K. Besetsney
  • Raymond V. Burke


Three hundred and seventy-nine parents at 25 Air Force bases participated in a collaborative child physical abuse prevention project designed by the United States Air Force Family Advocacy Program and Father Flanagan's Boys' Home (Boys Town). These participants were active duty or civilian employee parents and their spouses who completed the Boys Town Common Sense Parenting ® program as part of a comprehensive prevention effort. We hypothesized that participants would report decreased child behavior problems, improved relationships with family members, and reduced risk for child physical abuse after attending parenting sessions. Results supported this hypothesis. The data were also analyzed to determine the frequencies of individual parents who made statistically reliable changes on the dependent measures using Jacobson's Reliable Change Index. Nineteen to 30% of the participants reported significant improvement in the areas assessed. Parents who improved in abuse risk were at a higher level of risk and were less satisfied with family relationships prior to their participation than those who did not change. Implications for prevention of child physical abuse and future directions for research are discussed.

child physical abuse abuse prevention Common Sense Parenting® program family relationships Jacobson's Reliable Change Index 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald W. Thompson
    • 1
  • Penney R. Ruma
    • 2
  • Albert L. Brewster
    • 3
  • Leasley K. Besetsney
    • 4
  • Raymond V. Burke
    • 5
  1. 1.Outcomes Evaluation-Prevention ProgramsNational Resource and Training Center, Father Flanagan's Boys' HomeBoys Town
  2. 2.Outcomes Evaluation-Prevention ProgramsNational Resource and Training Center, Father Flangan's Boys' HomeBoys Town
  3. 3.Family Advocacy ResearchBrooks Air Force Base
  4. 4.Family Advocacy ProgramBrooks Air Force Base
  5. 5.Common Sense Parenting®National Resource and Training Center, Father Flanagan's Boys' HomeBoys Town

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