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After deployment, adaptive parenting tools: 1-Year outcomes of an evidence-based parenting program for military families following deployment

APA Citation:

Gewirtz, A. H., DeGarmo, D. S., & Zamir, O. (2018). After deployment, adaptive parenting tools: 1-year outcomes of an evidence-based parenting program for military families following deployment. Prevention Science, 19(4), 589–599. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-017-0839-4

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study tested the After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) Intervention, a 14-week parenting program tailored to military families. This program was modeled after the social interaction learning (SIL) model, which posits that children’s adjustment worsens when parents have fewer positive interactions with children and use harsh discipline. The current study examined the program’s outcomes on child adjustment (reported by teacher, parent, and child) and effective parenting (based on observed parent-child interactions). The current randomized control trial consisted of two groups: the intervention group (n = 207) and the control group (n = 129) and was primarily comprised of National Guard and Reserve families. Findings suggest the efficacy of interventions such as ADAPT for military families post-deployment.



Branch of Service:

Air Force
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Guard/Reserve member
Military families


Childhood (birth - 12 yrs)
Preschool age (2 -5 yrs)
School age (6 - 12 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Longitudinal study


Gewirtz, Abigail H., DeGarmo, David S., Zamir, Osnat


Despite significant stressors facing military families over the past 15 years of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, no parenting programs adapted or developed for military families with school-aged children have been rigorously tested. We present outcome data from the first randomized controlled trial of a behavioral parent training program for families with a parent deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. In the present study, 336 primarily National Guard and Reserve families with 4–12-year-old children were recruited from a Midwestern state. At least one parent in each family had deployed to the recent conflicts: Operations Iraqi or Enduring Freedom, or New Dawn (OIF/OEF/OND). Families were randomized to a group-based parenting program (After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT)) or web and print resources-as-usual. Using a social interaction learning framework, we hypothesized an indirect effects model: that the intervention would improve parenting, which, in turn, would be associated with improvements in child outcomes. Applying intent-to-treat analyses, we examined the program’s effect on observed parenting, and children’s adjustment at 12-months post baseline. Controlling for demographic (marital status, length, child gender), deployment variables (number of deployments), and baseline values, families randomized to the ADAPT intervention showed significantly improved observed parenting compared to those in the comparison group. Observed parenting, in turn, was associated with significant improvements in child adjustment. These findings present the first evidence for the effectiveness of a parenting program for deployed military families with school-aged children.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, AHG
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, DSD
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, OZ


parenting, military, parental deployment, child adjustment, prevention

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  October 2018

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