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Professor Matt Sanders

Matt Sanders is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and the founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program. His home base is in Brisbane, Australia, where he was Director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre, University of Queensland. Professor Sanders is also a visiting Professor at Manchester University, University of South Carolina, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Auckland.

Currently, he is the Foundation Professor of Parenting Studies and Family Psychology, and Strategic Advisor to the Director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at The University of Queensland. Professor Sanders is considered a global leader in the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of evidence-based parenting and family interventions. His major career accomplishment was the development of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, a unique multilevel system of evidence-based parenting support that is the world’s most extensively evaluated and widely implemented parenting intervention system. Research on Triple P has been conducted in 41 countries. Professor Sanders has published extensively in the area of parenting, family psychology and the prevention of social, emotional and behavioural problems in children. Triple P has reached millions of families worldwide.


Professor Sanders has extensive experience in adapting evidence-based parenting programs to address different types of childhood adversity and vulnerability. His work includes interventions that address parenting in the context of child maltreatment prevention, peer victimisation and bullying, marital conflict, separation, and divorce, parenting in the context of severe mental illness, such as major depression and bipolar disorder, and substance abuse. His intervention model has been tested in the broader context of extreme poverty (both in Australia and in low- and middle- income countries), in prisons, with parents who are victims of domestic violence, in drug rehabilitation programs, and with foster carers.


Professor Sanders also developed successful models for cultural adaptation of evidence-based psychological interventions for Indigenous and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations, and has developed programs that cater to specific needs, for instance, parents of children with disability, first-time parents, and grandparents. He has also evaluated different delivery formats including online, media and TV.


Over four decades, Professor Sanders has built a highly regarded international reputation for conducting outstanding research and translating it into practical programs which address social, emotional and behavioural problems and promote stronger families.


Professor Sanders' Triple P parenting system has now helped millions of children and their families. It has been used in 32 countries and has been translated into 23 languages other than English. More than 100,000 practitioners have been trained in its delivery.


Professor Sanders has 559 published works including 346 peer-reviewed articles, 9 books, 78 book chapters, 8 technical reports, 33 video programs, and 85 practitioner resources. His work has inspired three international TV series, including the UK's high-rating Driving Mum and Dad Mad.


Professor Sanders has consulted and advised governments at senior policy levels in Australia, Canada, UK, Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Iran, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.


He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization and is Expert Consultant on Positive Parenting to the Council of Europe. 


Career awards have included:

  • International Collaborative Prevention Research Award (from the Society for Prevention Research in the US)
  • President's Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology (from the Australian Psychological Society)
  • Trailblazers Award (from the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy)
  • National Violence Prevention Award (from the Australian Heads of Government)
  • Queenslander of the Year
  • Distinguished Career Award (from the Australian Assoc. for Cognitive Behavior Therapy)
  • Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (2020).


Professor Sanders is also a compelling communicator who effectively shares his knowledge with the community. He writes regular newspaper columns and is a sought-after family commentator on radio and TV.


He is married with two adult children and five grandchildren.