Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC)

HNC is a skills-training program aimed at teaching parents how to obtain compliance in their children ages 3 to 8 years old. The goal is to improve parent-child interactions in order to reduce the escalation of problems into more serious disorders (e.g., conduct disorder, juvenile delinquency). The program is based on the theoretical assumption that noncompliance in children is a keystone behavior for the development of conduct problems; and that faulty parent-child interactions play a significant part in the development and maintenance of these problems. Parents attend sessions with their children and trainers teach the parents core skills necessary for improving parent-child interactions and increasing their children's compliance.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

The goals of Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC) are:
  1. Establish a positive interaction with the child by reducing/eliminating parental coercive behaviors and providing positive attention to the child for appropriate behaviors (and ignoring minor child inappropriate behaviors that are primarily attention-seeking)
  2. Provide appropriate limit setting and consequences for both child compliance and noncompliance to parental directives, which should ultimately lead to reduced:
    • Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder diagnoses
    • Engagement in delinquent behavior
    • Risk of substance use problems
    • Child maltreatment

Continuum of Care:

Topic Areas:
Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Disruptive Behaviors, Substance Use

Childhood (4-12), Early Childhood (0-3)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, Congregate Care Facility, Virtual

Cultural Considerations:
A balanced amount of the research involved diverse populations

Parents of children (age 3-8 years old) who are noncompliant and have related disruptive behavior/conduct problems

Practitioners should have a background in psychology or education, a Master's level degree in some aspect of human services, and should be familiar with social learning principles and their application to child behavior. Ideally, the trainer would have experience working with young (3-8 year-old) children with conduct problems and their parents.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Training is typically provided onsite at the contracting agency.

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Information not available

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Jones, D. J., Forehand, R., Cuellar, J., Parent, J., Honeycutt, A., Khavjou, O., Gonzalez, M., Anton, M., & Newey, G. A. (2014). Technology-enhanced program for child disruptive behavior disorders: development and pilot randomized control trial. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 43(1), 88–101.

Parent, J., Jones, D. J., DiMarzio, K., Yang, Y., Wright, K. L., Sullivan, A. D. W., & Forehand, R. (2022). The Effects of Young Children’s Callous-Unemotional Traits on Behaviorally Observed Outcomes in Standard and Technology-Enhanced Behavioral Parent Training. Research on child and adolescent psychopathology, 10.1007/s10802-022-00979-1. Advance online publication.

Forehand, R., Parent, J., Peisch, V. D., Sonuga-Barke, E., Long, N., Breslend, N. L., & Abikoff, H. B. (2017). Do parental ADHD symptoms reduce the efficacy of parent training for preschool ADHD? A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Behaviour research and therapy, 97, 163–169.

Forehand, R., Parent, J., Sonuga-Barke, E. et al. Which Type of Parent Training Works Best for Preschoolers with Comorbid ADHD and ODD? A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Generic and Specialized Programs. J Abnorm Child Psychol 44, 1503–1513 (2016).

Abikoff, H.B., Thompson, M., Laver-Bradbury, C., Long, N., Forehand, R.L., Miller Brotman, L., Klein, R.G., Reiss, P., Huo, L. and Sonuga-Barke, E. (2015), Parent training for preschool ADHD: a randomized controlled trial of specialized and generic programs. J Child Psychol Psychiatr, 56: 618-631.

Additional Sources:

Supported By Research

WV Rating:
Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Helping the Noncompliant Child is a family-based treatment protocol for childhood disruptive and oppositional behavior, primarily designed for children 3- to 8-years-old. While used for oppositional defiant disorder and associated disruptive behavior disorders, it has also been applied to disruptive behavior associated with ADHD, etc. Research has provided support for the treatment’s use in addressing childhood disruptive behaviors across sexes and varying demographic make-ups/cultures; however, it should be noted that many research studies reviewed had a white-dominated population, which can be viewed as a limitation. While having been used to address disruptive behavior for children with comorbid challenges, many studies eliminated comorbid issues (e.g., mood), another area for future classicization. HNC has been successfully applied both in-person and via technology (e.g., video, portal with app). While longitudinal studies are available, the majority were less than one year follow-up, suggesting the need for longer-term data to not only clarify lasting impacts, but contributors to positive or negative outcomes.

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Promising Research Evidence

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Unclear +

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Found on the registry. See link for more information.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy Registry Link: