The studies aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Triple P-based “Driving Mum and Dad Mad” television series in improving positive parenting behaviours and child wellbeing over a six month period. A secondary aim was to compare the effectiveness of the intervention with (enhanced condition) and without (standard condition) extra support and resources. The influence of demographic details and parenting background were recorded to check for effects on outcomes and compliance.
Participants were recruited across two waves, GPE1 (N = 450) and GPE2 (N = 270). Data from these two waves were combined. Both assessment groups used a repeated measures design and were randomly allocated to the two intervention conditions (standard or enhanced). Participants in the enhanced condition received downloadable tip sheets, a workbook and media resources in addition to the standard reminders to watch the series. All parents were administered a set of questionnaires measuring family background (Family Background Questionnaire); parental anger (Parental Anger Inventory); parenting style (Parenting Scale); parenting confidence for dealing with misbehaviour (Parenting Task Checklist); inter-parental conflict (Parent Problem Checklist); child disruptive behaviour (Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory); parental relationship satisfaction (Relationship Quality Index); and mood (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale). These were administered pre-intervention, as well as 12 weeks and 6 months after watching the series. Parents were also assessed on the number of episodes they watched, child-problem severity and demographic details.
Results were found to support the effectiveness of the media-based interventions over 12 week and 6-months for all measured variables apart from parental relationship quality. Information was found for the other hypotheses:-
This study supported the hypothesised effectiveness of the media-based intervention, both with and without extra media support. The strength of the results was limited by a high level of dropout (particularly from parents of lower reported functioning and self-efficacy), however results still indicate support for the formats. The low-level of response to email suggests limited use of enhancement options.
Media interventions targeted at a wider audience appears to produce reliable change in parenting and child functioning, with and without additional support. These results represent the first known measure of success for such intervention, which should be replicated. Future studies should aim to address the high level of dropout and assess the outcomes for families that do.