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Welcome Colleagues!

Thank you for stopping by and exploring our new Nurturing Program Research web site!

I’m Dr. Stephen Bavolek, principle author of the Nurturing Parenting Programs. Being up in the mountains with Honey, our family Golden Retriever, is a nice way to experience nurturing. Honey is a sweetie.

The Nurturing Program Research web site has been created to support your interest in knowing and understanding the decades of research that support the effectiveness of the Nurturing Programs. The functional purpose of the Nurturing Programs is directed towards the primary prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It is clear that most child maltreatment is learned and passed on generation after generation like an unwanted family heirloom.

The Nurturing Programs are evidence-based, trauma-informed programs that involve the entire family. The development of the Nurturing Programs was based on earlier work with my colleague Dr. Richard Keene, in developing and validating the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI). The AAPI is a self-report inventory based on the known behaviors of parents who abuse and neglect their children. Responses to the AAPI indicate levels of risk for repeating harsh and abusive parenting practices. Using the AAPI to assess levels of risk, and the lessons of the Nurturing Programs to remediate risk, families can create new and positive nurturing memories.

Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D and Honey

Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D and Honey

From the initial study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1979, to the latest studies conducted throughout the United States, Canada and England, over a million families have attended program sessions. That’s almost four generations of families contributing to re-shaping the long-standing practices of abusive and neglecting parenting to nurturing parenting based on the practices of empathy, kindness, positive self-worth, empowerment, and guidance.

Contact Family Development Resources by e-mail or phone with your comments. Perhaps you have completed a study involving the Nurturing Program you would like published on our site. We would be most honored to share your thoughts and findings with our colleagues throughout the world. Look forward to hearing from you.


Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D.

Section Selection

Section 1: Research and Validation Studies

Section 2: Newest Research and RCT Studies

Section 3: Nurturing the Families of the United States Armed Forces

  • For nearly 30 years, the US Department of Defense has been offering the Nurturing Programs world-wide through their New Parent Support Program (NPSP). The Nurturing Prenatal Program, and the Nurturing Program for Parents and their Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers are a part of a voluntary in-home parenting program offered to all families in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air-Force. Click here for more information.​

Section 4: Five States with on-going State Wide Implementation of 

                   Nurturing Programs

  • As of June 2017, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana State Departments of Social Services and Departments of Health have selected the Nurturing Parenting Programs to implement state-wide. through Title 4E Federal Funding. Three other states are in the planning process for implementing the Nurturing Programs state-wide.  Click here for more information.​

Section 5: Changing the criteria used to establish

                   Evidence-Based Programs

  • Criteria for acknowledging a program as “Evidence-based” to “Promising” to “Unsatisfactory” has changed over the years. The effectiveness of the programs has remained the same, the criteria has changed. Click here for more information.

Section 6: National and International Registries

  • National and International Registries are presented and the importance Nurturing Program Protective Factors have in the prevention and treatment of Child Maltreatment. Click here for more information.

Section 7: Frequently Asked Questions

  • There is so many standards and criteria to what constitutes research, evidence-based research and studies that make contributions to the field but are not listed as research. Click here for more information.

Section 8: Links to Nurturing Program Partners

  • Nearly 40,000 national and international agencies have implemented the Nurturing Parenting Programs serving over one million families since 1983. Click here for more information.

Section 9: Links to Must Read Articles and Resources about

                   Nurturing Parenting

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