The effects of incentives on families' long-term outcome in a parenting program

Nina Heinrichs, Amanda Jensen-Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To examine the impact of paying for participation in a preventive parenting program on treatment outcomes, 197 families with preschool-aged children were randomized to paid or unpaid conditions. Although both groups improved on nearly all measures, paid families showed less improvement on 3 of 10 variables, including father-reported child prosocial behavior and parenting skills and maternal distress. The interaction between payment and treatment format (individual vs. group) was examined. Compared to unpaid group participants, paid group intervention participants had significantly worse mother and father parenting skills posttreatment, whereas paid individual intervention mothers had significantly better skills. These findings suggest payment may lead to smaller treatment effects, although the bulk of the data point to no impact on outcomes. Given that payment attracts families who would not otherwise receive treatment, this appears to be a viable strategy to recruit families without appreciably impacting outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-712
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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