Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Nibaldo H. Galleguillos

Committee Member

Thomas Kennedy


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a family-centered parenting program for culturally diverse high-risk families using science-based curricula and evaluation tools. Despite the evidence supporting the effectiveness of parenting education, there are still limitations to the current body of knowledge. Research has been conducted primarily with middle-class European American mothers. Less is known about parenting education with culturally and economically diverse families. In addition, much of the additional research targeted well-functioning families. High-risk families are less likely to participate in parenting programs and research studies. Most programs do not use evidence-based curricula or conduct evaluations using valid reliable measures. Last, most programs work solely with the parent and do not have a family-centered approach. Including children suggests the entire family learns together and has a better opportunity to build family cohesion.

This study utilized a science-based curricula parenting program for at-risk families. The sample population included 31% Caucasian, 2% Hispanic, 66% Native American, and 1% of other races combined. Quantitative data reflected that overall parenting scores increased in both target and control groups based on the scores from pretest to posttest with a t score of 0.459 for the target group and 0.346 for the control group.

Overall, the program was successful, and the applied dissertation effectively met each of the 6 outcomes. Nonprofit organizations should review the findings of this applied dissertation to develop more programs that incorporate science-based curricula to address the parenting needs of those who are high risk.


This dissertation was submitted and approved through the Institutional Review Board for Research with Human Subjects.