Triple P is a parenting program intended to prevent and to provide treatment for severe behavioral, emotional, and developmental problems in children. The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the effectiveness of Triple P Level 4 interventions on parenting styles and parental competency. Level 4 is an intensive training program of 8 - 10 sessions for parents of children with more severe behavioral difficulties. The results indicated that the Triple P Level 4 interventions reduced dysfunctional parenting styles in parents and also improved parental competency. These effects were maintained well through time and appear to support the widespread adoption and implementation of Triple P Level 4 interventions that is taking place in an increasing number of countries around the world.
Key Words: meta-analysis, parenting, parenting program, Triple P.
Family processes have a great influence on children's psychological, physical, social, and economic welfare. Many significant mental health, social, and economic problems are linked to disturbances in family functioning (Chamberlain & Patterson, 1995; Patterson, 1982; Sanders, Markie-Dadds, & Turner, 2003), and epidemiological studies have indicated that poor parenting strongly influences how children develop (e.g., Cummings & Davies, 1994; Dryfoos, 1990). The lack of a warm positive relationship with parents; insecure attachment; harsh, inflexible, rigid, or inconsistent discipline practices; and inadequate supervision of and involvement with children are specific factors that increase the risk that children will develop major behavioral and emotional problems, including substance abuse, antisocial behavior, and juvenile crime (e.g., Loeber & Farrington, 1998; Sanders et al., 2003); this implies that the strengthening of parenting competences and improvements in dysfunctional parenting styles should have a positive impact on child well-being and lead to a decrease in their behavioral problems.
Behavioral family interventions (BFI) that are based on social learning principles are the most extensively evaluated form of psychosocial intervention for children and are effective in reducing family risk factors associated with child behavior problems (Kazdin, 1991; Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992; Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997). In fact, studies demonstrating the efficacy of parenting interventions have shown improvements in parental perceptions and parenting skills, improvements in children's social skills and school adjustment, and reductions in behavioral and attention problems (Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2000; Taylor & Biglan, 1998). One widely used parenting intervention is the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, which aims to equip parents more effectively for their child-rearing role. The purpose of the present study was to provide a meta-analytic review of the research literature on the effectiveness of one level of intervention of the Triple P parenting program in improving parenting styles and parents' competences.
The Triple P Positive Parenting Program
Triple P, which designates a "positive parenting program," is a multilevel program designed to prevent and offer treatment for severe behavioral, emotional, and developmental problems in children from birth to the age of 16 years, by means of enhancing the knowledge, skills, and confidence of their parents. The program was developed by Sanders and colleagues at the Parenting and Family Support Center of the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland (Sanders, Markie-Dadds, Tully, & Bor, 2000). Triple P incorporates five levels of interventions on a continuum of increasing intensity of behavioral and emotional problems in children. Level 1 is a form of universal prevention that delivers psychoeducational information on parenting skills to interested parents. Level 2 is a brief intervention consisting of one or two sessions for parents of children with mild behavioral problems. …