Triple P in a nutshell
The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program ® is a parenting and family support system designed to prevent – as well as treat – behavioral and emotional problems in children and teenagers. It aims to prevent problems in the family, school and community before they arise and to create family environments that encourage children to realize their potential.
And while it is almost universally successful in improving behavioral problems, more than half of Triple P's 17 parenting strategies focus on developing positive relationships, attitudes and conduct.
Triple P is delivered to parents of children up to 12 years, with Teen Triple P for parents of 12 to 16 year olds. There are also specialist programs – for parents of children with a disability (Stepping Stones), for parents going through separation or divorce (Family Transitions), for parents of children who are overweight (Lifestyle) and for Indigenous parents (Indigenous). Other specialist programs are being trialed or are in development.
The Triple P system aims to:
- Put evidence-based parenting into the hands of parents across the world
- Normalize the concept of parenting programs so parents feel comfortable asking for help
- Deliver the exact amount of support a parent needs – enough but not too much
- Give parents the confidence and skills to be self-sufficient – to manage problems independently
- Provide communities with population-level early intervention to prevent child abuse, mental illness and anti-social behavior.
For every parent
No single parenting program can meet the needs of all parents. That's why the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program has been developed as a system, with a suite of interventions, of increasing intensity, for all ages from birth to 16 years. Triple P can be delivered as a public health initiative, to create a meaningful impact at a population level, or its interventions can be selected specifically to target a particular demographic or parenting group, according to an organization's priorities and budget.To help ensure Triple P has "something for everyone", each level of the program can be delivered in a range of ways, including private consultations, small groups, large seminars or online self-help. Triple P can also be delivered by a wide range of different professionals, making it easier for parents to access the program.
The program content is relevant to most cultures and socio-economic groups. The principles at the heart of Triple P encourage parents to choose their own parenting goals, with regard to their own beliefs and values. Practitioners are encouraged to be sensitive to different beliefs, expectations and traditions, and may tailor their delivery to suit different parents – for example, with a particular ethnicity or for parents with low literacy. Various parent resources, which are simple and easy-to-follow, have been translated into 21 languages other than English.
Testament to Triple P's acceptance by a range of cultures and ethnicities is the number of countries around the world that have embraced the program. Triple P is used in more than 25 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong, Romania, Sweden, Curacao, New Zealand, Germany, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Denmark, Singapore and the Netherlands.
Benefits of Triple P
Triple P is unlike any other parenting program in the world, with benefits both clinical and practical.
Flexible deliveryTriple P's flexibility sets it apart from many other parenting interventions. Triple P has flexibility in:
Age range and special circumstanceTriple P can cater to an entire population -- for children from birth to 16 years. There are also specialist programs – including programs for parents of children with a disability; parents of children with health or weight concerns; parents going through divorce or separation; and for Indigenous families.
Intensity of programTriple P's distinctive multi-level system is the only one of its kind, offering a suite of programs of increasing intensity, each catering to a different level of family need or dysfunction, from "light-touch" parenting help to highly targeted interventions for at-risk families.
How it's deliveredJust as the type of programs within the Triple P system differ, so do the settings in which the programs are delivered – personal consultations, group courses, larger public seminars and online and other self-help interventions are all available.
Who can be trained to deliverPractitioners come from a wide range of professions and disciplines and include family support workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors, teachers, teacher's aides, police officers, social workers, child safety officers and clergy.
Evidence basedTriple P is the most extensively researched parenting program in the world. Developed by clinical psychologist Professor Matt Sanders and his colleagues at Australia's University of Queensland, Triple P is backed by more than 35 years' ongoing research, conducted by academic institutions in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Iran, Hong Kong, Japan, Turkey, New Zealand and Australia.
Population approachTriple P has been designed as a population-based health approach to parenting, typically implemented by jurisdictions, government bodies or NGOs (non-government organizations) across regions or countries. The aim is to reach as many people as possible to have the greatest preventative impact on a community. The Triple P system can go to scale simply and cost efficiently. It has been shown to work with many different cultures and ethnicities.
Comprehensive resourcesAll Triple P interventions are supported with comprehensive, professionally produced resources for both practitioners and parents. The resources have all been clinically trialled and tested. The parent resources have been translated, variously, from English into 21 languages.
Organizational supportTriple P's dissemination experts around the world have experience assisting all levels of government and non-government organizations and are available to advise through all stages of a Triple P rollout – from planning and training to delivery, evaluation and beyond. Triple P uses an Implementation Framework to help support the success and sustainability of Triple P.
Communications strategyAn integrated communications strategy, which helps destigmatize parenting support and reaches parents via a range of communications materials, puts parenting on the public agenda. It creates an awareness and acceptance of parenting support in general – and Triple P specifically.
Evaluation measuresThe success of Triple P is easily monitored on both a personal level and across a population. Triple P provides tools for practitioners to measure "before" and "after" results with parents, allowing them to demonstrate Triple P's effectiveness to the parents they work with and also to their own managers. computerized scoring applications can also be adapted to collate results across a region to show effects community-wide or within a target group.
Cost effectiveTriple P's system works to prevent over servicing and wastage, with its range of programs able to cater to the diversity of parents' needs – from light-touch to intense intervention. It's also a program that promotes self-regulation and self-sufficiency, as Triple P gives parents the skills they need to become problem solvers and confidently manage their issues independently, rather than rely on the ongoing support of a practitioner.
On a broader scale, as an early intervention strategy, Triple P has been shown to reduce costs associated with conduct disorder, child abuse and out-of-home placement, delivering significant benefits when compared to the cost of the program.
Triple P is transforming lives around the world. See how small changes have made big differences to individual families – and to entire communities.> Read what parents say
> Watch what parents say
> Watch case studies
> See excerpts from the TV series Driving Mum and Dad Mad
Read what parents say
From aggressive boy to happy child, quickly!Gloria*, Sonoma County, USA
It was just starting to get really difficult; he was in his twos about to turn three and there was a lot of struggle between him and I. It was always a hassle to get him to listen to me when we went places, having to pick up his toys, having him sit down and eat dinner with us or when we’re at the table. I just needed to find an outlet something, something that could help me.
He was hitting me. He was hitting little girls in his class. I think it was just for attention but he was just really aggressive; that was a really big issue.
I was worried that like this was just going to be a part of his personality, like being so aggressive and it scared me, cause, you know, I don’t want my son to grow up to be like someone who hits, you know?
(I started Triple P) and he immediately started changing. The dynamics between the two of us was a positive energy, more happy. Instead of me telling him ‘you can’t do that’ it was more like ‘oh great job, good job walking with me’. It made made him more happy, I could tell.
And I feel more confident in my parenting ways because I know that the ways are working.
An incredible amount of practical informationThomas*, Glasgow, Scotland
My name is Thomas and my wife, Christine, and I took part in Triple P. We have two children Aaron, 22 months and Mary, 6 months. My wife and I gained an incredible amount of practical information given in a friendly non-invasive environment.
The advice was presented in an easy-to-understand format and supported well by video. Having the sections broken down into completable weekly tasks really helped Christine and I approach the guidance of our children in a steady manner. Many of the changes suggested were really changes in our parenting rather than forcing something unreasonable upon the children.
We have been pleasantly surprised by how well our children behave both in our company and with babysitters. Although they're far from being angels we now have the tools to control potentially explosive situations and I think that helps for a more relaxing and predictable home life. And happy children.
My wife and I share the same childhood experiences of alcoholism and family breakup and we didn't want to recreate those experiences for our children. Having no positive parental input on my part (Christine has a strong relationship with her mother) really came to the fore with the birth of Mary and I'm glad to say Triple P came along just at the right time.
The difference is unbelievableJanine, Barrie, Ontario, Canada
The difference in our home is unbelievable. We have a three-and-a-half-year-old son. He stays with his grandma through the day while we work. We come to Triple P together. When we started coming we were at opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. Now we are almost united in the middle.
My husband is less dictatorial. I am less lenient. Our child is less confused and frustrated. Before coming to Triple P my son cried and cried each day because he did not want to come back home with us at the end of the day. He wanted to stay with Grandma. It broke my heart. Now my son gets excited and asks to come home every day.
I hope that more parents can get this supportIsaura, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
I hope that more parents can get this support, so that they can be better mothers for their children. At the start I wondered if this course had come too late in my life. And now I have the answer to that: absolutely not!
It's never too late to learn how you can be a better person and a better mother and to recognize mistakes and make things right again. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I'm convinced that I'm a different person now and a different mother, compared to what I was eight weeks ago.
I used to think I had the only child like thatSandra, Bradford, England
My son is 11 and has learning difficulties and I'm a single parent. We were always at loggerheads. I've done Triple P twice. I used the Group as a refresher course. I liked the small group because I used to think I had the only child like that. When I saw other parents who are worse off, I knew that, at the end of the day, I wasn't the only one out there with problems.
Triple P has given me a lot more confidence. Before, I wasn't able to talk to anybody about the problems. My confidence was going down. This helped to deal with that.
The different strategies I learned, I brought them home. Since I've learnt to talk to my son in an appropriate way his behavior has improved at school too. It used to be that three days a week he'd be sent home from school. His behavior got that bad - like pinching girls' bottoms -- he was going to get himself into trouble.
Even the way I deal with things is different. I used to take all his stuff off him and he'd rebel. Now I take one thing off him and he knows it's going to happen. He handles it. Then there are strategies such as computer use. Ten minutes before computer time is up, I give him a prompt. He knows it will be time to finish up. There's been the odd little blip, but it's just much calmer.
I wish we could have done Triple P (when he was) in primary school. It could have prevented a lot of problems.
It helps to keep parents and kids togetherTimothy, Yorkshire, England
I'm a single dad, my son Jack is 11. Jack was getting into trouble at home and at school. My social worker came around with the Triple P video. When it started I was very aggressive. I thought they (social workers) were against me. You know, you're worried they were trying to take the kids off you. But now I see they want to keep parents and kids together.
I did 16 sessions (of Group and Enhanced Triple P) and Jack got better and better. It worked wonders.
Me and Jack used to have loads and loads of anger. Before Triple P I was doing two to three days of carrying on an argument. I think Jack must have gone through hell with me. I wouldn't let the subject drop. I kept going on and on and on. Now the relationship is 200...300...400 percent better! We'll still find something to argue about -- but we'll get over it. And I can sit down and have a conversation and not blow my top!
We have become friends. It's a fantastic experience I've had. There's light at the end of the tunnel.
Triple P respected my cultureDuong, Brisbane, Australia
My wife and I have two children, a boy, 9, and a girl, 5. In Vietnamese culture we just follow our parents but times change and (because we are) living in a new country we need to adapt and learn new techniques.
In the course you have the chance to talk and share with other parents. I strongly recommend and encourage parents, both mums and dads, to do it. It respected my culture. There was nothing in it against my culture.
I hope all families who have a child with a disability have the opportunity to do Stepping Stones Triple PCathy, Gold Coast, Australia
I am the mother of a six-and-a-half-year-old boy (Robert), who is autistic. We were going through a very rough patch with Robert when we started (Stepping Stones Triple P) and I was being hit or he would dig his nails into me and I had a lot of scratches from him. Going to the shops was becoming impossible and if he had a tantrum people would stare and it would make the shopping trip very difficult and highly stressful.
Triple P showed us ways to control the behavior and taught us that getting into a routine would make our lives easier and better. It all sounded so simple and the best part was that once we put into practice what we were taught at each session, it did actually work!
Before Triple P we devoted every waking minute to Robert. I had given up work and ...had no opportunity to meet other people. I thought the only meaningful thing I would do with my life would be looking after Robert. Triple P taught me that I could still contribute to the community and they showed me how important it was that I make time for myself and still have time for Robert.
I wish I could show you what Robert is like today and how much he has changed from when we began the Triple P program. If you saw us out today, you wouldn't think he was the same child. As for me, well I can now go to work without worrying about whether or not I am doing the right thing.
I just hope that all families who have a child with a disability have the opportunity to (do Stepping Stones) as our family is living proof that it can make a huge difference to their lives.
*all names have been changed to protect privacy
Watch what parents say
Got a minute or two? That's all it takes for these parents to share their Triple P experiences.
Mother Angharad Davies, Herefordshire UKSingle mother Angharad Davies was always exhausted by the time her daughter Cerys finally went to sleep at night. Cerys would scream and cry until midnight and throw all her furniture out of the room. Now, it's "goodnight" by 6pm.
Mother LeSandra James, Louisiana, USAAs a single parent with a Down Syndrome child, LeSandra James was ready to try anything that could help her care for her daughter. Of Triple P she says: "I love it."
Mother Dawn Turner, Herefordshire UKShe had no trouble with her first child, so Dawn Turner couldn't understand why her daughter Ruby was so demanding and argumentative. But with Triple P under her belt, Dawn's relationship with her daughter has "gone soaring".
Mother Jennifer Bock, Santa Clara USAWith a son under two years old, Jennifer Bock was feeling the strain of her boy’s aggression and misbehavior. “I wasn’t enjoying being a parent,” she says. That’s changed now.
Mother Tammy Ellis, Herefordshire UKWith six kids in a two-bedroom house, Tammy and Shane Ellis’s life was chaotic. But why did the kids behave well for Shane and not Tammy? Luckily, Group Triple P helped turn things around.
Driving Mum and Dad Mad
Triple P's strategies were put to the test in the ITV series Driving Mum and Dad Mad, which was telecast throughout the U.K. and internationally.British psychologist Claire Halsey had eight weeks to transform the lives of five families taking part in her Group Triple P course. Viewers were amazed at how small changes to the way these families operated made big differences to the stress levels, happiness and well-being of each family.
Driving Mum and Dad madTriple P was put to the test in the U.K. TV series Driving Mum and Dad Mad. Would it help struggling British families?
The world of Triple P
It started as a doctoral thesis more than 35 years ago. Now with more than 800 published papers, including more than 280 clinical trials, studies and evaluations behind it, Triple P has become one of the world's most-trusted parenting interventions, cited in reports by bodies such as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations.
See local Triple P websites for professionals and practitioners at:Triple P Belgium, Triple P Germany, Triple P Nederland, Triple P Switzerland
19 November 2013
Remember children’s emotional needs after natural disasters, says expert.In the aftermath of natural disasters, children need ongoing support to help protect them from developing serious mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress and depression, according to a clinical psychologist who specialises in post-disaster care for families.
25 October 2013
New award for Triple P Online CommunityA social network that delivers the University of Queensland’s Triple P – Positive Parenting Program has won a major national learning award, its second technological award this year.
25 October 2013
Triple P in South AfricaThe University of South Africa’s Tirisano Centre plans to head up research into the effectiveness of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program in the City of Tshwane.
29 August 2013
African parents welcome Triple P ideasParents in the slums of Africa face a daily struggle to survive but a Triple P study suggests their dreams for their children appear the same as those of parents from more affluent countries.
27 July 2013
New website for Australian parents of a child with a disabilityAustralian parents of a child with a disability can now register for free Triple P – Positive Parenting Program help through the Australian Stepping Stones Triple P Project.
05 July 2013
Standing room only at Triple P launch in TurkeyTriple P is now being offered to parents in Turkey, with the first positive parenting seminar series in Balçova, Izmir, attracting more than 200 parents.
20 June 2013
Australian parenting squad to help children with special needsA squad of 160 health and education professionals will be trained across Queensland, Australia, under a new project to help improve the lives of children with special needs.
29 May 2013
Parenting interventions' effectiveness compared with ADHD medication in new study.Parent-based training interventions show greater evidence of effectiveness for treating preschoolers at risk for ADHD than a prescribed medicine, according to a study sponsored by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.