Approximately 15–20 % of children experience behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Evidence-based treatment will likely not be sufficient to reduce the prevalence of these difficulties in children and adolescents. Effective prevention programs are therefore also needed to enable families access to support at multiple points across the lifecourse. The aim of the current investigation was to evaluate the 4-year efficacy of the group-based Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) as a prevention program administered universally. Seventeen preschools were randomly assigned to Triple P (n = 11 preschools, 186 families) or a no parenting intervention control group (n = 6 preschools, 94 families). Long-term efficacy was analyzed with hierarchical linear models using maternal and paternal self-report measures. Mothers and fathers from the intervention preschool group reported significant reductions in dysfunctional parenting behavior (d = 0.24 and 0.19, respectively). Mothers also reported a less steep decline from pre- to post-intervention in positive parenting behavior, which was maintained 4 years later (d = 0.38). Fathers from intervention preschools reported a delayed less steep decline in positive parenting during the follow-up (d = 0.33). In addition, mothers from intervention preschools reported immediate improvement in child behavior problems during the program while mothers from control preschools did not report this immediate change. However, with mothers from intervention preschools reporting more child behavior problems at baseline, the effect disappeared by the fourth year (d = 0.19). The results support the long-term efficacy of the Triple P-group program as a universal prevention intervention for changing parenting behavior while there was little evidence for maintenance of change in behavior problems.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 17, 2013
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