Does Triple P positive parenting work? | See the evidence - Triple P Positive Parenting United States of America

The Evidence

Triple P is one of the few parenting programs in the world based on evidence and research about what works. There are more than 35 years of ongoing international research behind Triple P, and the body of scientific evidence just keeps growing.

There are now more than 280 evaluation papers, including 146 randomized controlled trials, that show Triple P can work for most families – across different cultures, socio-economic groups and in many different family structures.

Some key findings:

Triple P reduces problem behavior in children and improves parents’ wellbeing and parenting skills.

Nowak, C. & Heinrichs, N. (2008). A comprehensive meta-analysis of Triple P - Positive Parenting Program using hierarchical linear modeling: Effectiveness and moderating variables. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 11, 114-144.

In communities where Triple P is widely available, children have fewer behavioral and emotional problems.

Sanders, M.R., Ralph, A., Sofronoff, K., Gardiner, P., Thompson, R., Dwyer, S., & Bidwell, K. (2008). Every Family: A population approach to reducing behavioral and emotional problems in children making the transition to school. Journal of Primary Prevention, 29, 197-222.

Parents using Triple P say they are less stressed, less depressed and don’t use harsh discipline.

Sanders, M.R., Ralph, A., Sofronoff, K., Gardiner, P., Thompson, R., Dwyer, S., & Bidwell, K. (2008). Every Family: A population approach to reducing behavioral and emotional problems in children making the transition to school. Journal of Primary Prevention, 29, 197-222.

Triple P has positive effects on a range of outcomes including children’s social, emotional and behavioral measures, parenting satisfaction and effectiveness, and parent relationships. 

Sanders, M. R., Kirby, J. N., Tellegen, C. L., Day, J. J. (2014). The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program: A systematic review and meta-analysis of a multi-level system of parenting support. Clinical Psychology Review, 34 (4), 337-357 (This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of over a hundred studies covering more than 16,000 families.)

Triple P can produce community-wide positive effects such as slowing the rate of child abuse and reducing foster care placements.

Prinz, R.J., Sanders, M.R., Shapiro, C.J., Whitaker, D.J., & Lutzker, J.R. (2009). Population-based prevention of child maltreatment: The U.S. Triple P system population trial. Prevention Science, 10(1), 1-12.

Triple P is effective in reducing disruptive behaviors of children with developmental disabilities.

Effects of parent management training programs on disruptive behavior for children with a developmental disability: A meta-analysis. (2015) Skotarczak, L. & Lee, G.K. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38, 272-87.

Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders using Stepping Stones Triple P report they are more satisfied as parents, their children’s behavior has improved and their relationship with their partner is better.

Whittingham, K., Sofronoff, K., Sheffield, J., & Sanders, M.R. (2008). Stepping Stones Triple P: An RCT of a parenting program with parents of a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 37(4), 469-480

U.K. parents who watched a reality television series (“Driving Mum and Dad Mad”) which showed other parents using Triple P, felt more confident in their parenting, less angry and less depressed than before watching the series.

Calam, R., Sanders, M.R., Miller, C., Sadhnani, V., & Carmont, S. (2008). Can technology and the media help reduce dysfunctional parenting and increase engagement with preventative parenting interventions? Child Maltreatment, 13(4), 347-361.

Triple P has also been tested and shown to be effective in many culturally and ethnically diverse populations around the world, for example in: 

Hong Kong

Leung, C., Sanders, M.R., Ip, F., & Lau, J. (2006). Implementation of Triple P – Positive Parenting Program in Hong Kong: Predictors of program completion and clinical outcomes. Journal of Children’s Services, 1(2), 4-17.

Leung, C., Sanders, M.R., Leung, S., Mak, R. & Lau, J. (2003). An outcome evaluation of the implementation of the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program in Hong Kong. Family Process, 42(4), 531-544.

Indigenous Australian families

Turner, K.M.T, Richards, M., and Sanders, M.R. (2007). Randomised clinical trial of a group parent education program for Australian Indigenous families. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 43(6), 429-437.


Tehrani-Doost, M., Shahrivar, Z., Gharaie, J.M., & Alaghband-Rad, J. (2009). Efficacy of positive parenting on improving children’s behavior problems and parenting styles. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, 14(4), 371-379.


UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre evaluation of Triple P in Ireland (funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies). An evaluation of Triple P in the Irish Midlands from 2010—2013. More information is available at the Child and Family Research Ireland website:


Matsumoto, Y., Sofronoff, K. & Sanders, M.R. (2007). The efficacy and acceptability of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program with Japanese parents. Behaviour Change, 24(4), 205-218.


Bodenmann, G., Cina, A., Ledermann, T. & Sanders, M.R. (2008). The efficacy of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program in improving parenting and child behaviour: A comparison with two other treatment conditions. Behavior Research and Therapy, 46(4), 411-427.

See more details and more research findings at: