Active Parenting™

Mental Health Substance Use Prevention or Treatment In-home Parent Skill-Based Does Not Currently Meet Criteria

Active Parenting™ is a parenting education program designed for parents of children ages 5–12. Active Parenting aims to strengthen parenting skills and prevent child risk-taking behaviors, including drug use, violence, and early sexual activity. The program emphasizes parent skill development in communication, problem-solving, discipline, family enrichment, and encouragement. 


Active Parenting includes up to six structured session topics: (1) parenting styles and brain development in children, (2) active communication strategies, (3) problem-solving and appropriate discipline techniques, (4) how parents can build self-esteem and encourage their children, (5) reasons why children misbehave and how to manage power struggles and feelings of anger, and (6) strategies for school success and for preventing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Class leaders present session content through various mediums, such as leader presentations, PowerPoint slides, video vignettes, group discussions, role play and practice activities, and guidebook review. Home practice is supported with a workbook and online videos. Class leaders may offer an optional additional “Active Parenting & You” time after each session for the entire group or as an option to interested parents. This extended session allows parents time to reflect, apply session content and skills, and receive additional home practice activities.

Active Parenting does not currently meet criteria to receive a rating because no studies met eligibility criteria for review.

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Dec 2022


The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information were informed by the following sources: the program or service manual, the program or service developer’s website, and the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.

This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

Active Parenting is designed for parents of children 5–12 years old.


Active Parenting is typically delivered in six weekly 2-hour group sessions with an optional 30-minute “Active Parenting & You” extension. Class leaders deliver content to groups of 8–12 parents, through group size is flexible. Program intensity may be modified, including delivering all program content in 12 1-hour sessions or condensing into a weekend workshop. Program content can be implemented flexibly, including offering all six sessions consecutively, offering only sessions 1–3 or 4–6 as separate “short courses,” or offering session 6 as a standalone course. 

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

Active Parenting is typically delivered in school settings or community-based organizations. Class leaders typically conduct sessions in person, though virtual delivery options are available. 

Education, Certifications and Training

Implementing organizations may set educational requirements for class leaders. Formal training is not required, though class leader training workshops are available and consist of a 1-day, 7-hour live training webinar or a self-study class with video, reading, and discussion tools. 

Class leaders who have completed the training workshop can complete a formal certification process, though certification is not required to deliver the program. To become certified, a class leader must lead an Active Parenting class, administer class participant evaluation forms, complete a self-evaluation form, and send materials to the developer for approval. 

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

Popkin, M. H. (2014). Active Parenting: Leader’s guide (4th ed.). Active Parenting Publishers. 

Available languages

Active Parenting materials are available in English and Spanish.

Other supporting materials

Class Leader Training

Popkin, M. H. (2014). Active Parenting: Parent’s guide (4th ed.). Active Parenting Publishers.

Popkin, M. H. (2014). Active Parenting: Parent’s workbook (4th ed.). Active Parenting Publishers.

For More Information


Phone: (800) 825-0060


Note: The details on Dosage; Location; Education, Certifications, and Training; Other Supporting Materials; and For More Information sections above are provided to website users for informational purposes only. This information is not exhaustive and may be subject to change.

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Active Parenting™
Identified in Search 3
Eligible for Review 0
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 0
Rated Low 0
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers. To receive a rating of supported or well-supported, the favorable evidence for a program or service must have been obtained from research conducted in a usual care or practice setting.

Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 14240

Foley, Y. C., Popkin, M., Mullis, F., & Cooper, P. J. (2019). Active Parenting Now and Active Parenting of Teens: An evaluation of two neo-Adlerian parenting programs. The Journal of Individual Psychology, 75(4), 272-286. 

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 14244

Mullis, F. (1999). Active Parenting: An evaluation of two Adlerian parent education programs. The Journal of Individual Psychology, 55(2), 225-232.

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 14307

Fashimpar, G. (2000). Problems of parenting: Solutions of science. Journal of Family Social Work, 5(2), 67-80. 

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).