Long-Term Effects of the Step-Up Program on Parent Participants
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Child-to-parent abuse (CPA) is a unique form of family violence defined as a pattern of behavior by a child or adolescent that uses verbal, financial, physical, or emotional means to practice power and exert control over a parent. Compared to other types of family abuse, relatively few resources are available to assist families experiencing CPA, though some CPA-specific intervention programs have been developed. Step-Up is a family-level group format CPA intervention program administered by the juvenile justice system in King County, Washington. Step-Up is designed to facilitate healthy parent-child relationships and stop adolescents' violent behavior. In general, qualitative and long-term research is lacking on CPA intervention programs, and it is unknown how parents perceive the effects of Step-Up after program completion. Methods: Fifteen parents who completed Step-Up with their adolescent child between one and eight years ago participated in semi-structured telephone or in-person interviews. Study participants were asked about their perceptions of the effects of Step-Up participation, how they and their child have used skills taught in the program, which program components or features were most and least helpful, and their perceptions of their child's involvement in the juvenile justice system related to domestic violence. Results: Parents expressed largely positive effects of participating in Step-Up, including decreased violent behavior by their adolescents and improved parent-child relationships. Participants described how specific program components, dynamics related to program format, and dynamics specific to the group setting impacted behavior change in their adolescent. Conclusions: In order to benefit program participants in the future, Step-Up program staff should pay increased attention to group dynamics and how they affect each specific family, as well as offer some follow-up to program participation to help adolescents sustain positive behavior change.
- Health services