Search
Share share mail

News

15 November 2019

Online parenting program evaluations demonstrate positive health outcomes

Busy health professionals should consider referring patients to online support, given that ongoing research into the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program’s online variant, Triple P Online, has yielded impressive parent and child outcomes, with effects largely being maintained at follow-up.

A summary of research results released yesterday provides salient information for health professionals and policymakers, especially in the area of the prevention of child maltreatment:

 

  • Less use of ineffective and dysfunctional parenting strategies [see references below: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
  • Increased parental confidence in parenting roles [4] and in dealing with behavioural concerns [1]
  • Less frequent and fewer child behaviour problems [1, 3, 4, 5]
  • Greater parental self-efficacy [2]
  • Reduced parental anger [4]
  • Decreased risk of child maltreatment and inter-parental conflict, both maternally and paternally [5]

                                               

 

Additional effects were also observed for particular parent populations, such as improvements in:

  • Maternal overactivity, verbosity and laxness for student mothers [6]
  • Child behavioural problems, parental sense of competence and parental stress for parents with Bipolar Disorder [7]
  • Child behavioural problems, lax/permissiveness and overactive parenting, and parental stress for disadvantaged parents (i.e. those who have been incarcerated, are low income, were in drug/alcohol treatment or have had a child removed due to maltreatment) [8]

 

FINDINGS ON SPECIFIC HEALTH CONDITIONS

Given the long waiting lists for treatment and pressure on healthcare systems experienced in many countries, the outcomes for Triple P Online in relation to parents of children with ADHD symptoms is also especially noteworthy:

  • Mother-rated child hyperactivity/inattention, restlessness/impulsivity, defiance/aggression, and social functioning [9]
  • Teacher-rated prosocial behaviour [9]
  • Maternal self-reported improvements in over-reactivity, verbosity, laxness, positive parenting, parenting satisfaction, self-efficacy, stress and depression [9]

 

Triple P Online has also been shown to be effective for parents of children with a developmental, intellectual, or physical disability, showing:

  • Improvements in parenting practices and parental self-efficacy [10]
  • Decreased child behavioural and emotional problems [10]

 

 

References:

[1] Baker, S., Sanders, M. R., Turner, K. M. T., & Morawska, A. (2017). A randomized controlled trial evaluating a low-intensity interactive online parenting intervention, Triple P Online Brief, with parents of children with early onset conduct problems. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 97, 78-90. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2017.01.016

[2] Day, J. J., & Sanders, M. R. (2017). Mediators of parenting change within a web-based parenting program: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial of Triple P Online. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 6(3), 157-170. doi: 10.1037/cfp0000083

[3] Day, J. J., & Sanders, M. R. (2018). Do parents benefit from help when completing a self-guided parenting program online? A randomized controlled trial comparing Triple P Online with and without telephone support. Behavior Therapy, 49(6). doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2018.03.002

[4] Sanders, M. R., Baker, S., & Turner, K. M. T. (2012). A randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of Triple P Online with parents of children with early-onset conduct problems. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50, 675-684. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.07.004

[5] Sanders, M. R., Dittman, C. K., Farruggia, S. P. and Keown, L. J. (2014). A comparison of online versus workbook delivery of a self-help positive parenting program. Journal of Primary Prevention 35(3), 125-133. doi: 10.1007/s10935-014-0339-2

[6] Ehrensaft, M. K., Knous-Westfall, H. M., & Lopez Alonso, T. (2016). Web-based prevention of parenting difficulties in young, urban mothers enrolled in post-secondary education. Journal of Primary Prevention, 37(6), 527-542. doi: 10.1007/s10935-016-0448-1

[7] Jones, S., Jovanoska, J., Calam, R., Wainwright, L., Vincent, H., Asar, O., . . . Lobban, F. (2017). Web-based integrated bipolar parenting intervention for parents with bipolar disorder: A randomised controlled pilot trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(9), 1033-1041. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12745

[8] Love, S., Sanders, M., Turner, K., Maurange, M., Knott, T., Prinz, R., . . . Ainsworth, A. (2016). Social media and gamification: Engaging vulnerable parents in an online evidence-based parenting program. Child Abuse & Neglect, 53. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.10.031

[9] Franke, N., Keown, L. J., & Sanders, M. R. (2016). An RCT of an online parenting program for parents of preschool-aged children with ADHD symptoms. Journal of Attention Disorders. doi: 10.1177/1087054716667598

[10] Hinton, S., Sheffield, J., Sanders, M. R., & Sofronoff, K. (2017). A randomized controlled trial of a telehealth parenting intervention: A mixed-disability trial. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 65, 74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.04.005



Are you
a parent?

Yes, take me to the Parent Site

No, thanks