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Research by Hektner and colleagues at North Dakota State University shows that NHA is an evidence-informed practice. The Nurtured Heart Approach® is steadily moving toward the official national designation of “Evidenced-Based.” In the meantime it is currently considered to be a promising practice in many regional locations. Currently, data is being compiled in a variety of treatment, community and educational situations.

Joel Hektner, Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Science at North Dakota State University, describes his research study titled A Review of the Nurtured Heart Approach to Parenting, An Evaluation of It’s Theoretical and Empirical Foundations published in the peer review journal Family Process (April 2013).


Joel M. Hektner, Alison L. Brennan, Sean E. Brotherson

The Nurtured Heart Approach to parenting (NHA; Glasser & Easley, 2008) is summarized and evaluated in terms of its alignment with current theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence in family studies and developmental science. Originally conceived and promoted as a behavior management approach for parents of difficult children (i.e., with behavior disorders), NHA is increasingly offered as a valuable strategy for parents of any children, despite a lack of published empirical support. Parents using NHA are trained to minimize attention to undesired behaviors, provide positive attention and praise for compliance with rules, help children be successful by scaffolding and shaping desired behavior, and establish a set of clear rules and consequences. Many elements of the approach have strong support in the theoretical and empirical literature; however, some of the assumptions are more questionable, such as that negative child behavior can always be attributed to unintentional positive reinforcement by parents responding with negative attention. On balance, NHA appears to promote effective and validated parenting practices, but its effectiveness now needs to be tested empirically.
To subscribe to the article:
Family Process, Vol. x, No. x, 2013 © FPI, Inc.
doi: 10.1111/famp.12030
Research Poster:
Parent training in the Nurtured Heart Approach:
Effects on Parents’ Well-being, Practices, and Perception of Child Strengths

Click Here to Download PDF:  NHA-Research-Poster