Effects of monetary incentives on engagement in the PACE parenting program

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2010;39(3):302-13. doi: 10.1080/15374411003691792.


This study evaluated parental engagement in an 8-week parenting program offered through daycare centers that were randomly assigned to a monetary incentive or nonincentive condition. Of an initial sample of 1,050 parents who rated their intent to enroll in the program, 610 went on to enroll-319 in the incentive and 291 in the nonincentive condition. Results showed that intent to enroll predicted enrollment irrespective of condition. Further, parents did not enroll in greater numbers, attend more sessions, or participate more actively in the incentive condition. Incentives encouraged some parents, often younger and socioeconomically disadvantaged, to enroll but had no effect on their attendance. Of importance, these results could not be accounted for by between-condition differences in child and family or in daycare characteristics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child Day Care Centers / education
  • Child Day Care Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Program Evaluation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Reward*
  • Social Class