Laboratoire du développement sensori-moteur, affectif et social (SMAS), Faculté de psychologie et des sciences de l’éducation, Université de Genève, 40, boulevard du Pont-d’Arve, 1211 Genève 4, Suisse
The aim of this critical review is to present the characteristics of the main parent training programs and their effects on children's externalizing behavioral problems and their perception by parents. These programs are based on the theoretical principles of operant conditioning and social learning. The results of their evaluations show significant effects on parents, with a reduction in parental stress and an increase in the feeling of parental competence, and on children, with a reduction in aggressive behavior. However, these promising results need to be confirmed due to several methodological limitations: a strong heterogeneity in the sociodemographic characteristics of the families and in their recruitment procedure, and a great variability in the tools used to evaluate their effects. The results are discussed from a theoretical and methodological point of view, but also with regard to their implementation conditions for neuropsychologists.