Completed research projects
Read about our completed projects and feedback from participants.
Combining Triple P and Stress Control (2015)
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a newly-developed suite of brief parent discussion groups. Families were randomly allocated to attend either a single group session targeting disobedient behaviour, or four group sessions addressing a range of child behaviours of concern to parents. For parents who were asked to attended four group sessions, there were two compulsory topics (Dealing with Disobedience and Positive Parenting), and families could choose to attend a further two sessions from the following three options: Fighting and Aggression, Self-esteem, and Chores.
Parents in the study had a child between the ages of 5 to 8 years who showed some difficulties with his or her behaviour. This trial was an opportunity for parents to attend group sessions about positive parenting and discipline strategies to constructively manage their child’s behaviour, free of charge.
Analysis of the effects at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up showed that brief parent discussion groups were generally acceptable to parents of primary school aged children and lead to improvements on a range of parent and child outcomes. Taking part in four group sessions produced greater improvements in mother- and father-rated child behaviour, mothers’ parenting practices, and mothers’ parenting self-efficacy by post-intervention when compared with attending a single group session. At 6-month follow-up, mothers allocated to attend four group sessions also reported greater improvements in their mental health and perceptions of parenting partner support.
Evaluating Triple P Online for parents of hyperactive/inattentive pre-schoolers (2015)
Parent-child relationships of preschool children with hyperactive/inattentive behaviour problems are often difficult, leading to parenting stress and negative parent-child interactions. By intervening early it may be possible to reduce some of the poor long term outcomes associated with these early behaviour difficulties. This project investigated the effectiveness of the online self-help version of Triple P in a group of parents with pre-schoolers with hyperactive/inattentive behaviour difficulties. Parents were randomly allocated to be in the start-now or in the start-later group.
Some of the findings include a decrease in hyperactive/inattentive child behaviour and an improvement in children’s social functioning. In addition, after having completed the online parenting programme, parents reported an increase in positive parenting practices, well-being, and self-efficacy. Six month after the intervention, most effects on parenting measures were maintained. Some parents also mentioned certain barriers, such as time constraints and a lack of involvement of their partner, which refrained them from completing the programme. Programme facilitators were also uncovered, such as receiving parenting information and learning new parenting skills.
Enhancing father engagement and inter-parental teamwork in Group Triple P (2015)
Father participation in parenting programmes is low and there is limited evidence about programme effectiveness for Dads. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Group Triple P Program, with additional father relevant programme content, for fathers and mothers of children with behavioural difficulties. A randomised control trial was conducted with 42 families. Results showed significant improvements at post intervention and 6-months follow-up for parent ratings of child behaviour, positive parenting practices and parenting confidence. Programme satisfaction was high and the results highlight the benefits of engaging both parents to participate together in a parenting intervention.
Parent and Adolescent Effects of a Universal Group Program for Parenting Adolescents (2014)
The study examined the efficacy of Group Teen Triple P, an eight-session parenting programme specifically designed for parents of adolescents on improving parenting practices, family relations and reducing adolescent problem behaviours. A randomised controlled trial was conducted to examine the efficacy of the programme with 72 families drawn from the community. Data on parent- and adolescent-related outcomes were collected from parents and adolescents at three time points (pre-, post-, 6-month follow up). The findings demonstrated that GTTP was effective in promoting positive parenting practices, reducing adolescent problem behaviours, and enhancing family functioning. Qualitative findings further indicate that GTTP was perceived to be meaningful and beneficial by parents and adolescents. The findings can aid in further development and implementation of the program with the aim to increase accessibility and better serve the needs of parents of adolescents.
Brief positive parenting groups for primary school children (2011-2012 and 2014)
This project evaluated the effectiveness of a newly-developed suite of brief parent discussion groups. Families were randomly allocated to attend either a single group session targeting disobedient behaviour, or four group sessions addressing a range of child behaviours of concern to parents. For parents who were asked to attended four group sessions, there were two compulsory topics (Dealing with Disobedience and Positive Parenting), and families could choose to attend a further two sessions from the following three options: Fighting and Aggression, Self-esteem, and Chores.
Parents in the project had a child between the ages of 5 to 8 years who showed some difficulties with his or her behaviour. This trial was an opportunity for parents to attend group sessions about positive parenting and discipline strategies to constructively manage their child’s behaviour, free of charge.
Analysis of the short-term effects showed that brief parent discussion groups were generally acceptable to parents of primary school aged children and lead to improvements on a range of parenting and child outcomes. Taking part in four group sessions produced greater improvements in mother- and father-rated child behaviour and maternal parenting practices when compared with attending a single group session. Final 6-month follow-up data is currently being collected and will be analysed by May 2015.
Triple P in your own home! (2010-2011)
Almost 200 parents from across New Zealand participated in this research trial investigating the effectiveness of Triple P programmes designed to be completed in your own home. Parents were randomly allocated to complete either an internet-based or workbook-based positive parenting programme. New Zealand was the first in the world to trial the internet-based version of Triple P, called Triple P Online.
Parents in the project had a 3- to 8 year-old child who was displaying at least a moderate level of behavioural problems, such as frequent defiance and disobedience, tantruming, aggression, conflict with siblings and other disruptive behaviour. This trial was an opportunity for parents to learn strategies to reduce child behaviour problems and increase their skills and confidence as a parent, in the privacy of their own home and with complete confidentiality.
Feedback from parents indicated that both Triple P Online and the workbook were highly effective both in the short- and long-term. Both programmes resulted in significant decreases in difficult child behaviour as well as improvements in parenting confidence and the use of effective parenting strategies. There were also a number of benefits for family life and parental wellbeing, such as improvements in family relationships, decreases in conflict between parents over discipline issues, and decreases in levels of parental stress.
The study’s results are being used to refine Triple P Online so that it can made available more widely through schools, health professionals and organisations. For example, the programme has just been picked up by Family Lives in the UK.
What about dads? An investigation of fathers' needs and preferences for parenting support (2010)
An increasing body of evidence highlights the importance of fathers’ parenting and involvement for children’s development, including the development of prosocial behaviour, problem solving skills, social cognition and focused attention. However, research on father involvement in parenting programmes suggests that fathers are often not included or invited, or when fathers are included they do not always attend on a regular basis.
Reviews of father participation in parenting programmes have recommended a range of issues that need to be addressed in order to increase father inclusion, engagement, and retention. For example, identifying barriers to participation, tailoring content and delivery methods to meet the needs of fathers’ roles and interests, and using more creative approaches to recruitment of fathers. On the basis of these suggestions, an online survey and focus group discussions were carried out with New Zealand fathers asking their opinions about specific programme content and delivery methods of parenting programmes that would be relevant and helpful for fathers.
The results indicated that the majority of participants were not aware of the services available to fathers and only very few had ever attended a parenting programme. When asked about important content, fathers were interested in receiving information regarding the importance of father involvement on child development, how to build positive father-child relationships, and how to increase their child’s confidence, school achievement and social skills. Fathers also reported being least confident in dealing with their child when they are misbehaving in public, or when their child is unhappy, anxious or worried, suggesting that these may be additional topics required in parenting programmes for fathers.
Fathers also indicated their preferred delivery formats, which were a father only programme, a couples programme, parenting seminars. Fathers also indicated a preference for receiving parenting information via the television or internet. Finally, fathers reported they would be more likely to attend a programme that has been proven to be effective, is held in a convenient location and delivered by a trained practitioner.
The results of this investigation are being used to enhance the content and delivery of an existing parenting programme, the Group Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, to better meet the needs of both fathers and mothers.
Discussion groups for parents struggling with children’s bedtime or aggression (2010)
This project evaluated the effectiveness of two separate 2-hour discussion groups aimed at supporting parents to develop positive strategies to deal with difficult behaviours in preschoolers and improve overall family functioning. Two groups were offered: one aimed at managing fighting and aggression, and one aimed at dealing with bedtime problems and developing good bedtime routines. Parents participated in only one of the groups.
Parents who attended these discussion groups reported a number of benefits including an increase in the use of appropriate parenting strategies, improvements in parenting confidence and decreases in targeted problem behaviours.
Seminars for parents of young teenagers (2010)
The Triple P Research Group invited parents of teenagers aged from 11 to 14 years who were about to start or had recently started high school to participate in a project looking at the effectiveness of a seminar series for parents of young adolescents. Presented by psychologists, the three 90-minute seminars covered the topics Raising Responsible Teenagers; Raising Competent Teenagers; and Getting Teenagers Connected. The seminar series was run with support from Safe Waitakere.
This project focused on the transition into secondary school as this is often an anxious and uncertain time for both teenagers and parents. Parents who attended the seminar series reported an increase in parental confidence and in appropriate monitoring of their teenager’s behaviour, as well as decreases in conflict between parents about discipline issues, and in conflict with their teenager.