Jay's World of Abstracts

Jay's World of Abstracts 00021

Effective Family Strengthening Interventions

Karol L. Kumpfer, Ph.D. and Rose Alvarado, Ph.D.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

[Standard disclaimer: The nature of abstracts are that they are pieces of something larger. Not everyone is going to be happy with my choice of abstracts from any larger work, so if you are dissatisfied, I would refer you to the original document, which should be able to be found on the Internet. I encourage others to make their own abstracts to satisfy their needs. I would be happy to publish them here.

Jay's Introduction

I was an intelletual rebel in college, which my professors either loved or loathed. I read a good deal of Carl Rogers because I found a kinship there that I am still only realizing. Detractors of Rogers always bring up the fact that though he was extremely effective at interventions, his methods and results could not readily be replicated by others. It was finally determined that his methods worked for him because of Carl's personal efficacy.

I have found the same is true for many people. It is politically incorrect to say so, but some people are better at some things than others, and that this difference in all of us cannot be fully made up for by education or experience. You have likely seen it in the difference between great teachers and adaquate ones. It is not typically just a function of things like persistance, education, or desire. You either have this efficacy as a part of you or not.

Here is some research that indicates some in-born characteristics that prove very useful when looking for interventionists. A program (especially when working with families) can flourish or die on the efficacy of the person leading it. Carl Rogers is avenged!

I produced this abstract using time paid for by the Quay County Maternal Child and Community Health Council with funds from the New Mexico Department of Health.


The Trainer

The effectiveness of the program is highly dependent on the trainer’s efficacy and characteristics. Although little data exist on how much of the effectiveness of a family program can be attributed to the trainer versus the standardized curriculum, estimates indicate that program effectiveness is 50- to 80-percent dependent on the quality of the trainer. Qualitative evaluations of trainer effectiveness, participant satisfaction ratings, and long-term followup interviews with participants (Harrison, Proschauer, and Kumpfer, 1995) delineated nine important staff characteristics for program effectiveness:

Staff who share the same general philosophy as the program are most effective. Personable, caring, empathetic, and experienced staff receive the highest ratings from program participants, retain families better, and produce better results. The best family and parenting programs are only as effective as the quality of the staff delivering the program. JWA Home