Parent Connectors

Support for Parents of Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges

Parent Connectors is an innovative parent-to-parent support program developed specifically to meet the unique needs of families who have children with emotional or behavioral challenges. Parent Connectors was developed based on the personal experiences of families while incorporating the latest research-based theories on human behavior.

Our goal is to support parents by training and supporting schools or community service agencies to provide Parent Connectors, which includes the activities in the red box.

Parent Connectors


Research-Based Results for Parents

California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare logo

The development of Parent Connectors is rooted deeply with personal experiences. Al Duchnowski, Ph.D., a mental health clinican at the University of South Florida, is also the parent of a child with emotional and behavioral needs. Dr. Duchnowski collaborated with Krista Kutash, Ph.D., a mental health services researcher also at the University of South Florida. Together, they developed and pilot-tested Parent Connectors with the intent of creating a manualized and theory-based parent-to-parent support program to be used with schools that had data supporting its usefulness for families. Their early work on Parent Connectors was supported by two research grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

Kristin Duppong Hurley, Ph.D., a mental health services researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, joined the team and in 2013 was awarded a research grant to examine the effectiveness of Parent Connectors with middle-school students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. This work is ongoing and data collection will be completed in spring of 2019. As both Al and Krista have retired, Kristin is leading ongoing research, implementation and dissemination efforts at the Academy for Child and Family Well Being at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


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Kristin Duppong Hurley

Director of Parent ConnectorsKristin Duppong Hurley, Ph.D. - Oversees the local and national implementation, dissemination, and research efforts for Parent Connectors.

Parent Connectors Consultants - Tricia Monzon, MA LIMPH, LADC; and Nefta Pereda, PsyD - Train agencies and staff, and provide ongoing consultation to improve implementation quality and provide guidance on local adaptations.

Director of Data Support Systems - Lori Synhorst, Ph.D. - Works with agencies to support core program data collection systems for monitoring implementation and services usage.

Parent Connectors Developers - Al Duchnowski, Ph.D. & Krista Kutash, Ph.D. - Developed Parent Connectors and provide ongoing programmatic support and direction.

219 Barkley Memorial Center
PO Box 830738
Lincoln NE 68583-0738

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Parent Connectors

Learn more about participating in Parent Connectors research in Nebraska


The preparation of this website was supported in part by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324A130180 to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.