Observed Parenting in Families Exposed to Homelessness: Child and Parent Characteristics as Predictors of Response to the Early Risers Intervention

  • Kendal HoltropEmail author
  • Timothy F. Piehler
  • Abigail H. Gewirtz
  • Gerald J. August
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


Efforts to support positive parenting among homeless families are critical for promoting the mental health and developmental needs of children exposed to homelessness. Psychosocial preventive interventions seeking to improve parenting practices and child outcomes can make an important contribution in this regard, yet further research is needed to investigate the effects of such programs. In particular, little is known about which subgroups are most likely to benefit from intervention programming. The purpose of this study was to identify which child and parent characteristics predict differential responses to the Early Risers intervention among formerly homeless families residing in supportive housing. Data were derived from a cluster-randomized effectiveness trial in which supportive housing sites were randomized to the Early Risers intervention condition or treatment as usual. Child behavior problems, parental depression, parenting self-efficacy, and parent–child attachment were each examined as moderators influencing change in observed ineffective discipline practices across four waves of longitudinal data. Multilevel latent growth modeling revealed significant interaction effects for both child behavior problems and parental depression. For parents in the intervention condition, those reporting more child behavior problems at baseline showed greater reductions in ineffective discipline over the course of the study than parents reporting less child behavior problems. Similarly, parents with higher initial levels of depression showed greater parenting improvements in response to the intervention condition than did less depressed parents. These findings could have important implications for targeting families most likely to benefit from intervention participation.


Family homelessness Parenting interventions Parental depression Child behavior problems Multilevel growth modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kendal Holtrop
    • 1
    Email author
  • Timothy F. Piehler
    • 2
  • Abigail H. Gewirtz
    • 3
  • Gerald J. August
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family and Child SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Social ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Social Science and Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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