Improving Child Peer Adjustment in Military Families Through Parent Training: The Mediational Role of Parental Locus of Control

Timothy F. Piehler, Kadie Ausherbauer, Abigail Gewirtz, Kate Gliske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the mechanisms through which a parenting intervention for military families fosters positive peer adjustment in children. A sample of 336 families with a history of parental deployment enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of the After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) preventive intervention. ADAPT is a 14-week preventive intervention designed to strengthen parenting in military families. The intervention was associated with improvements in mother’s and father’s parental locus of control (i.e., a more internal locus of control) at a 6-month follow-up assessment while controlling for baseline levels. Mothers’ parental locus of control was positively associated with improvements in children’s peer adjustment 12 months following the intervention while controlling for baseline peer adjustment. A significant indirect effect revealed that participation in ADAPT resulted in improved 12-month peer adjustment by improving mothers’ parental locus of control. Implications for supporting youth resilience to stressors associated with deployment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1343
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by Grant DA030114 to Abigail Gewirtz from the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Prevention Research Branch.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • military deployment
  • parental locus of control
  • parenting intervention
  • peer adjustment

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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