School of Psychology - Activities - Featured Publications - An evaluation of a behavioural parenting intervention for parents of gifted children

Login to the School of Psychology

Featured Publication

An evaluation of a behavioural parenting intervention for parents of gifted children
Morawska, A., & Sanders, M.R.
Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2009, 47(6), 463-470.


Growing research evidence is showing that a number of factors and daily stressors specific to gifted children may place them at higher risk of developing behavioural and emotional problems. To date, no empirically supported parenting interventions have been evaluated in the population of gifted children despite the identified need by their parents.

The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of a tailored behavioural parenting intervention for improving the parenting skills of parents of gifted children. An additional aim was to assess the effect of the parenting changes on the behavioural and emotional adjustment of the gifted child.


It was predicted that:

  1. Compared to waitlist control, parents in the intervention group would report more effective parenting styles, less child behavioural and emotional problems and better overall family adjustment following intervention.
  2. These effects would be maintained at 6 month follow-up and that improvements in children’s behaviour would also generalise to the classroom.


To meet the eligibility criteria, a family had to have a child aged between three and ten and had to be identified by a formal cognitive assessment or by their school as gifted. 75 families were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions: intervention or waitlist. The intervention, Gifted and Talented Group Triple P, is based on the Group Triple P program. To assess the efficacy of the program, the parents and teachers of the gifted children completed a battery of questionnaires at three time periods: pre-intervention, post-intervention and 6-month follow up. 


Results showed:

  1. Significant short-term (pre- to post-) intervention effects for parent reported child behaviour problems, hyperactivity and parenting discipline styles. Parents reported less child behaviour problems and hyperactivity and improvements in their parenting discipline style, including less permissiveness, harshness and verbosity.
  2. Significant long-term (pre- to follow-up) intervention effects for parent reported child problem behaviour and parenting discipline styles.

No significant intervention effects were found for parent reported child emotional problems or teacher reports of classroom behaviour.


The results of the study provide partial support for both hypotheses. Furthermore, the results are consistent with previous research supporting the efficacy of behavioural parenting programs, in particular, Triple P programs. The results also support previous research showing improvements in parenting and child behaviour immediately following intervention and maintenance of treatment gains after 6 months.  

Summary and Implications

In summary, the findings support the efficacy of the tailored Group Triple P program for parents of gifted children. The findings of this study also provide a significant contribution to the area of research with gifted children and information on suitable parenting support for this population. Lastly, given that the parents were reporting low to moderate levels of difficult behaviour at pre-intervention, further research is necessary with a larger and more severe clinical sample to examine how effective this program is for higher-risk gifted children.     

Accessed: 3148 times
Created: Monday, 27th September 2010 by jameskir
Modified: Monday, 7th March 2011 by jameskir
Psychology News, Events & Publications RSS 2.0 Feed School of Psychology on Facebook School of Psychology on Twitter School of Psychology on Google Plus School of Psychology on Linkedin School of Psychology on YouTube
Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Google Plus Share this page on Linkedin