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Parenting support from special Triple P programme no more effective than regular youth care support

14 November 2013

A special programme that supports parents with children with emotional and behavioural problems does not appear to be any more effective than the usual care currently offered by Preventive Child Healthcare. This has been demonstrated in a study by Edwin Spijkers of the Department of Health Sciences of the University Medical Center Groningen, in collaboration with the GGDs (Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdiensten: Community Health Services) in the Northern Netherlands. He will publish the research this week in the scientific journal BMC Medicine.

The Australian parenting programme Triple P aims to solve emotional and behavioural problems in children by improving parenting skills. A practitioner trained in the Triple P method works with parents for four sessions to make a specific difficult parenting situation manageable. Behavioural and emotional problems are common; approximately one in five young people have emotional or behavioural problems, examples include tantrums, withdrawal from the social environment or anxious behaviour. These problems hinder the young person’s daily life and sometimes that of the whole family. The Triple P programme has been implemented broadly? in the Netherlands because the treatment is short and has shown to be effective in other countries. Data about the effectiveness of the programme in the Netherlands was limited before this study.

The study was aimed at parents of children aged 9 to 11. All children had mild behavioural and emotional problems. In this study, 67 families were monitored for a year, whereby half of the families received support from the Triple P programme and the other half received regular care. Parents completed questionnaires about their parenting methods and about the child’s behaviour prior to and after receiving parenting support.

The study showed a decrease in emotional and behavioural problems in the Triple P group, but an almost equal decrease in the control group. In addition, parenting skills and parenting stress were examined, for example the way the parents respond? to the child’s difficult behaviour. Again, no substantial differences in outcome were found between the two treatments. Neither treatment demonstrated any negative side effects. This suggests that parenting support from Triple P is no better than regular care.

Last modified:13 March 2020 02.16 a.m.
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