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Parenting in Ireland Queensland style

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Ireland has a child behaviour problem, the prevalence rate of behavioural problems sits at 15% for nine-year-olds in Ireland and it has a lot to do with the parenting that these children are receiving.

The rollout of a University of Queensland parenting program, Triple P, in a community in Ireland has significantly reduced the numbers of children with social, emotional and behavioural problems, which fell by between 31 and 38% following the introduction of a range of Triple P programs.

An Irish study showed that when the multi-level system of Triple P programs was made available, there was a 4.7% reduction in the prevalence rate of children within the borderline/abnormal range for social, emotional and behavioural problems.

The Irish Midlands community of 120,000 saw potential mental health outcomes for children post program with approximately 3,000 families surveyed before and after the intervention to determine the findings.

Triple P was offered to all families with children aged between four and eight in the counties of Longford and Westmeath over a 30-month period between 2010 and 2013.

Triple P founder and UQ Parenting and Family Support Centre director, Professor Matt Sanders, said the findings replicated the results of the first Every Family trial of the program in Brisbane more than a decade ago.

“The Irish paper shows absolutely that addressing the quality of parenting a child receives across the general population can dramatically reduce the likelihood that children with emerging problems will go on to develop serious issues in adulthood,” he said.

Research suggests that unless addressed, social, emotional and behavioural problems in children persist into adulthood for almost half of all children.

The study was published in Prevention Science (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-018-0907-4).


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