Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

Program Goals/Program Theory

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is a comprehensive parent-training program with the purpose of reducing child maltreatment and children’s behavioral problems. It is built upon a public health approach and as such was designed to treat large populations. The five core principles taught to parents are:

  • Ensure a safe and engaging environment.

  • Promote a positive learning environment.

  • Use assertive discipline.

  • Maintain reasonable expectations.

  • Take care of oneself as a parent.

It is through these core principles that parents learn how to engage in positive and supportive parenting. The first step is getting past the stigma that some parents need help and training in how to be effective parents. The second step is giving them the proper tools and knowledge to raise healthy children.


Program Activities/Target Population

The Triple P system has five intervention levels of increasing intensity and narrowing population reach. Any family with at least one child from infant to 12 years of age is eligible for any of the five programming levels; parents determine for themselves how much help they require.


There are differing program activities at each level of the intervention:


Universal Triple P, or Level 1. This intervention uses a media campaign to reach out to parents who are seeking help. The goal is to destigmatize parent training and make effective parenting strategies available to all families who want to use them. The media campaign uses advertisements in local radio and newspapers, newsletters sent to schools, and mass mailings to families in the intervention area. These messages contain some tips and guidelines for parents, but they are primarily a means of getting the word out about Triple P and upcoming parent training seminars.


Selected Triple P, or Level 2. Level 2 builds upon the first level of intervention but narrows the focus of the programming. The intent here is to normalize parenting interventions and let parents know it is acceptable to ask for help. The programming is primarily targeted at parents who are dealing with minor behavior problems or smaller issues that do not require intensive intervention. There are two delivery options for this intervention: brief consultation with individual parents and parenting seminars delivered to large groups of parents. The brief consultations involve one or two meetings lasting about 20 minutes and the other delivery format consists of three 90-minute sessions aimed at large populations of parents. The seminars are independent of each other, so parents can attend one out of the three or the whole set and still receive some benefit. As with the brief consultations, each delivery method is another avenue for parents to become familiar with Triple P and, if they feel they need it, inquire about more intensive levels of help and parent training.


Primary Care Triple P, or Level 3. Primary Care Triple P increases the intensity of intervention. This level is appropriate for families experiencing common behavior problems. Advice and information are paired with active skills training and effective parenting strategies. Families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will benefit the most from this level of assistance and training. The delivery format is four 20-minute consultations that incorporate active skills training and parenting tip sheets that cover common developmental issues (i.e. potty training) and behavioral problems.


Standard and Group Triple P, or Level 4. This level of intervention is targeted at populations of children who have detectable problems which may not be clinically diagnosed and at parents who are struggling with child-rearing challenges. Parents receive a variety of child management skills and advice on how to use these skills at home and in their communities. There are two delivery formats at this level of intervention. The first is 10 sessions, lasting about 90 minutes each, with individual families. These sessions incorporate skills training and observation periods at the home. The second format is given to large groups, and includes eight sessions. Five of these are 2-hour sessions that allow parents to learn through observation, discussion, practice, and feedback. There are also three 15- to 30-minute follow-up sessions done by telephone that give additional support to parents as they apply what they have learned at home.


Enhanced Triple P, or Level 5. This is an optional version of level 4, but is addressed to parents that are in need of more serious intervention or are dealing with major behavioral problems. This level of programming has additional modules on partner communication, mood management, stress-coping skills, and addressing parent–child issues.

Intervention ID

0 to 12


Study 1

Child Maltreatment

For all three child maltreatment outcomes—substantiated child maltreatment, out-of-home child placements, and hospitalizations or emergency room visits for child maltreatment injuries—Prinz and colleagues (2009) found that the counties receiving the Triple P system showed differential and positive effects. The effect sizes, calculated as Cohen’s d, a test for effect size in interventions, ranged from 1.09 to 1.22, which is considered to be large to very large in size. This indicated that the Triple P System had a large effect in reducing child maltreatment in the counties in which it was implemented.

Child Maltreatment Investigations

Scholars have noted that substantiations and investigations should both be evaluated to be thorough in studying child maltreatment issues. Therefore, as a supplementary analysis and outcome, the researchers examined the change in rate of child maltreatment investigation. Again, a differential and positive effect for the child maltreatment investigation rate was found with a medium effect size of Cohen’s d.

Topics - Placeholder

5 8 60 61 62 69 94 289 400 401 449 455 460