Looking Forward: The Promise of Widespread Implementation of Parent Training Programs

Marion S. Forgatch, Gerald R. Patterson, Abigail H. Gewirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Over the past quarter century, researchers have developed a body of parent training programs that have proven effective in reducing child behavior problems, but few of these have made their way into routine practice. This article describes the long and winding road of implementation as applied to children's mental health. Adopting Rogers' (1995) diffusion framework and Fixsen and colleagues' implementation framework (Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005), we review more than a decade of research on the implementation of Parent Management Training-Oregon Model (PMTO). Data from U.S. and international PMTO implementations are used to illustrate the payoffs and the challenges of making empirically supported interventions routine practice in the community. Technological advances that break down barriers to communication across distances, the availability of efficacious programs suitable for implementation, and the urgent need for high quality mental health care provide strong rationales for prioritizing implementation. Over the next quarter of a century, the challenge is to reduce the prevalence of children's psychopathology by creating science-based delivery systems to reach families in need, everywhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-694
Number of pages13
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The projects described were supported in part by Award Numbers R01DA16097 and 1R01DA030114 from the Prevention Research Branch, NIDA, U.S. PHS, and SAMHSA Grant #SM56177. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Health or SAMHSA.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • PMTO
  • empirically supported intervention
  • implementation science
  • parent training


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