Development and Psychopathology

Regular Articles

Testing the Oregon delinquency model with 9-year follow-up of the Oregon Divorce Study

Marion S. Forgatcha1a2 c1, Gerald R. Pattersona1a2, David S. Degarmoa1 and Zintars G. Beldavsa1

a1 Oregon Social Learning Center

a2 Implementation Sciences International, Inc.


This paper presents experimental tests of the Oregon delinquency model applied within a randomized design of an at-risk sample of single mothers and their elementary school-aged sons. In the theoretical model, ineffective parenting practices and deviant peer association serve as the primary mechanisms for growth in adolescent delinquent behavior and early arrests. Multiple-method assessments of 238 mothers and sons include delinquency as measured by teacher reports and official arrest records, parenting skills measured by observations of parent–child interactions, and deviant peer association as reported by focal boys. Analyses of the 9-year follow-up data indicate that the Oregon model of parent management training significantly reduced teacher-reported delinquency and police arrests for focal boys. As hypothesized, the experiments demonstrated that improving parenting practices and reducing contacts with deviant peers served as mediating mechanisms for reducing rates of adolescent delinquency. As predicted, there was also a significant delay in the timing of police arrests for youth in the experimental as compared to the control group.


c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Marion S. Forgatch, Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphey Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97401; E-mail:


Support for this project was provided by US Public Health Service Grants RO1 DA 16097 from the Prevention Research Branch, NIDA; RO1 HD 42115 from the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch, NICHD, NIH; and RO1 MH 38318 from the Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch, DSIR, NIMH; and a grant from Atferdssenteret (The Behavior Center), Oslo, Norway.