Positive results for parenting as research phase wraps up in Queensland

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3 Dec 2015

Positive results for parenting as research phase wraps up in Queensland

Happier, less stressed and able to better deal with problems.

Those are just some of the positive changes parents who have done Stepping Stones Triple P are experiencing.


Those same parents also experienced greater parental consistency, more positive encouragement, being less annoyed, shouting less and relationship improvements, and most importantly improvements in their child’s social, emotional and behavioural problems.


After two years of hard work these preliminary results from the Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) Project research team at the University of Queensland indicate that the parenting program has helped improve the quality of life of many of the 1200 parents of a child with a disability who have taken part.


Research team member Associate Professor Kate Sofronoff said it wasn’t just the immediate changes in child behaviour and family life that were encouraging, but also the long term effects 12 months on.


“Parents are reporting that once they’ve seen these changes in their child’s behaviour, the behaviour isn’t then recurring,” she said. “So it’s not as though you get an immediate short-term effect and then you get relapse – that isn’t happening and it quite clearly isn’t happening.


“That is something that is really kind of amazing!”


Special Education teacher and Stepping Stones provider Judy Howard has seen the positive changes first hand.


“When I initially did my Stepping Stones training I felt very sceptical,” she said.


“I have to admit, I was sitting there listening to our presenter thinking ‘yes, but…, yes, but…, that won’t work for our parents’. And by ‘our parents’ I mean the population of parents in a special school with predominately ASD and intellectually impaired kids.


“But guess what – it does!


“I think one of the best things at the start of the course is to watch parents have lightbulb moments.”


PHOTO: UQ research team members Martha Schoch, Professor Matt Sanders, Associate Professor Kate Sofronoff and Dr Julie Hodges at the SSTP Update Day on November 27.