Better start to better future? Long-term follow-up of a parenting intervention for mothers being released from incarceration

Ankie T.A. Menting*, Bram O. de Castro, Elizabeth M. Grandfield, Jaap J.A. Denissen, Walter Matthys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the long-term effects of the Better Start program, an adaptation of Incredible Years parent training enhanced with home visits, for families with mothers being released from incarceration. Methods: Participants in this quasi-experimental longitudinal study were 224 mothers, of whom 145 (64.7%) received intervention and the other mothers constituted a no intervention group. Official criminal justice records and mother reports of parenting behaviors and child behavior were collected up to 10 years after intervention. Mixed effects models, Cox regression analyses, and latent linear growth models were used to test potential intervention effects on adolescent delinquency, maternal recidivism, parenting behaviors, and disruptive child behaviors. Results: Outcomes favoring participants in the intervention condition were found for adolescent delinquency, maternal recidivism, and the number of disruptive child behaviors. Conclusions: Effects on maternal recidivism and delinquency in their children indicate that the Better Start program contributes to preventing the intergenerational transmission of delinquency.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Early online date31 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Delinquency
  • Disruptive child behavior
  • Incarcerated mothers
  • Incredible Years parent training
  • Long-term effects
  • Parenting

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