Parent training plus contingency management for substance abusing families: a Complier Average Causal Effects (CACE) analysis

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Nov 1;118(2-3):119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 Apr 3.


Background: Children of substance abusers are at risk for behavioral/emotional problems. To improve outcomes for these children, we developed and tested an intervention that integrated a novel contingency management (CM) program designed to enhance compliance with an empirically-validated parent training curriculum. CM provided incentives for daily monitoring of parenting and child behavior, completion of home practice assignments, and session attendance.

Methods: Forty-seven mothers with substance abuse or dependence were randomly assigned to parent training+incentives (PTI) or parent training without incentives (PT). Children were 55% male, ages 2-7 years.

Results: Homework completion and session attendance did not differ between PTI and PT mothers, but PTI mothers had higher rates of daily monitoring. PTI children had larger reductions in child externalizing problems in all models. Complier Average Causal Effects (CACE) analyses showed additional significant effects of PTI on child internalizing problems, parent problems and parenting. These effects were not significant in standard Intent-to-Treat analyses.

Conclusion: Results suggest our incentive program may offer a method for boosting outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child of Impaired Parents / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / education*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*