• September 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 8

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Effectiveness of Parenting Programs via Podcasts

Parenting programs based on cognitive behavioral and social learning principles can be an effective means of improving a variety of parental outcomes and thereby reducing disruptive behavior problems in children. Many parenting programs are conducted face-to-face, which can limit participation due to a variety of issues, such as child care and transportation scarcity or a fear of being judged by others. To address these issues, researchers associated with the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program—an evidence-based parenting program used in 25 countries around the world, including in the United States—tested the effectiveness of parents watching a 12-episode television series based on that program. They found significant reported improvements in child behavior and parenting competence. A recent article in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics describes the efforts of another research team to assess the effectiveness of a different broadcast method: podcasts.

The study included 139 parents in Australia who were randomly split into intervention and control groups. The intervention group was asked to watch seven podcast episodes that had previously been recorded for a public radio program. Each podcast was 9–14 minutes in duration and focused on topics such as positive reinforcement, managing disobedience, dealing with aggression, and others. The intervention was free, required no practitioner contact, and gave flexible access to the content. Parents were asked to take preintervention, postintervention, and follow-up questionnaires. The results indicated that parents in the intervention group had reductions in the frequency and number of child behavior problems, reductions in the use of dysfunctional parenting styles, and improvements in parental self-efficacy and confidence in managing emotional and behavioral problems.

"An Evaluation of the Efficacy of a Triple P-Postive Parenting Program Podcast Series," by Alina Morawska, Helen Tometzki, and Matthew Sanders, Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 35, 2014, is available for purchase through the publisher's website:


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