School of Psychology - Directory - People - Mr John Pickering

Mr John Pickering
  – Head - Triple P Innovation Precinct

Picture of 'Mr John Pickering'
Mr John Pickering
S12, Seddon South Building 82A
+ 61 7 3346 8743
+ 61 7 3365 6724
Postal Address:

Parenting and Family Support Centre
School of Psychology
The University of Queensland
Brisbane QLD 4072

Picture of 'Mr John Pickering'
Mr John Pickering

BPsycSc (Hons I)

PhD candidate


John Pickering is Head of the Triple P Innovation Precinct, an initiative by UQ’s Parenting and Family Support Centre (PFSC). He reports to the Director of the PFSC and Founder of Triple P, Professor Matt Sanders.

The PFSC is the research and development hub of The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. Triple P sits among the world’s foremost evidence-based parenting programs. It is now in use across 25 countries with some 62,000 practitioners trained to deliver the intervention to over 7 million families globally. Triple P is recognised as one of UQ's leading innovations.

John is a current member of The University of Queensland Senate which manages the University’s affairs and property, strategic priorities, finances, and oversees the major human resource matters associated with the 57,000 staff and students of UQ. He is also a member of the Senate Advancement Steering Committe and Senate sub-committee for Buildings and Grounds.

John received his Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons I) in 2006 from UQ and is a current PhD Candidate examining the topic of sibling conflict. His body of doctoral research seeks to use innovation in the research and development process to address whether Triple P can help parents reduce the level of sibling conflict in their own children; thereby improving not only the social, emotional and behavioural outcomes of the children, but the reach and impact of UQ research.

Professional Activities:

Member, The University of Queensland Senate

Member, The University of Queensland Senate Advancement Steering Committee

Member, The University of Queensland Senate Sub-committee for Buildings and Grounds

Member, Australian Performing Right Association (APRA)

Member, The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS)

Convenor, Helping Families Change Conference

Triple P Sibling Conflict Project Manager

Accredited Triple P Practitioner

Picture of 'Mr John Pickering'
Mr John Pickering
Research Activities:

John's primary research interest is how positive parenting programs transform the lives of individual children, their families and the community. His research focuses on how innovation, partnerships, policy and philanthropy combine to enhance the global reach and effectiveness of population-level parenting interventions.

In particular, his doctoral research examines how a targeted variant of Triple P for managing sibling conflict can be used to reduce the barriers to parents undertaking a parenting program and increase the uptake of Triple P within the community. Sibling conflict is among the most widely reported and frequently cited concerns for parents. It is hoped that the availibility of a parenting support strategy to tackle sibling conflict can engender a further destigmatisation of the notion of parents seeking parenting support.

Despite the strength of evidence linking evidence-based parenting interventions to improving lives, estimates suggest that less than .001% of the world’s population have undertaken an evidence-based parenting intervention. Moreover, there is tremendous opportunity to carry out further research adressing how parenting interventions can be used to tackle some of the biggest issues on the global agenda – HIV prevention, health and obesity prevention, crime and substance use reduction, improving environmental practices, and improvements in educational outcomes and reduced rates of poverty and disadvantage, to name just a few.

Understanding and responding to these issues is more important than ever and conducting research with Triple P provides a unique and powerful lens to address questions of global relevance and help develop interventions which potentially can have a positive impact on the community. 

Representative Publications:

Journal Articles:

Pickering, J. A. & Sanders, M. R. (2013). Enhancing communities through the design and development of positive parenting interventions. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk.4(2), Article 18. Available at:

Sanders, M. R., Pickering, J. A., Kirby, J. N., Turner, K. M. T., Morawska, A., Mazzucchelli, T., Ralph, A., Sofronoff, K. (2012). A commentary on evidenced-based parenting programs: Redressing misconceptions of the empirical support for Triple P. BMC Medicine, 10, 145-149. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-145

Book Chapters:

Sanders, M., & Pickering, J. (2014). O Triplo P - Programa de Parentalidade Positiva e a prevenção e tratamento dos problemas de externalização na infância. In L. Barros (ed.), Aconselhamento parental: intervenções psicológicas com pais. Lisboa, Portugal: Coisas de Ler.

Sanders, M. R. & Pickering, J.A. (2013). The importance of evidence-based parenting intervention to the prevention and treatment of child maltreatment. In S. Timmer & A. Urquiza (Eds). Evidence-Based Approaches for the Treatment of Maltreated Children: Considering Core Components and Treatment Effectiveness. New York, NY: Springer, pp. 105 - 122.

Conference Presentations:

Pickering, J. A. & Sanders, M. R. (February, 2014).  The Development and Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention for Managing Sibling Conflict. Paper presented at the 2014 Helping Families Change Conference. Sydney, Australia.

Pickering, J. A. & Sanders, M. R. (October, 2013). The Development and Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention for Managing Sibling Conflict. Paper presented at the 2013 Australian Association of Cognitive and Behaviour Therapies. Adelaide, Australia.

Pickering, J. A. & Sanders, M. R. (February, 2013). Consumer Engagement and the Development of Effective Parenting Interventions for Managing Sibling Conflict. Paper presented at the 2013 Helping Families Change Conference. Los Angeles, USA. 

Media and other activities

Pickering, J. A. (2014, 24 September). Interview by L. Wilkinson. Is sibling rivalry a good thing? The Today Show. Australia. Watch here

Pickering, J. A. (2014, 24 September). Interview by R. McManus, C. Bickmore, P. Helliar, & K. Langbroek. The dark side of sibling rivalry. The Project. Australia.

Pickering, J. A. (2014, 24 September). Interview with M. Downes. Concern over sibling rivalries. Channel 9 news. Brisbane, Australia.

Pickering, J. A. (2014, 23 September). Can sibling conflict cause mental health problems in later life? Story by Nicola Conville. Australia. View article here

Pickering, J. A. (2014, 6 July). Interview by P. Scott. Sibling Conflict. ABC Statewide Weekends. Queensland, Australia. Listen here

Pickering, J. A. (2014, 2 June). Interview by T. Cox. When does sibling conflict become a problem. ABC Drive Program. Brisbane, Australia. Listen here

Pickering, J. A. (2014, March). Pecking Order: Psychologists agree your sibling rank determines your life path. Story by A. Pavey. Brisbane News, 192, 10-11.

Pickering, J. A. (2014, June). Parental guidance: New study tracks sibling rivalry. Story by L. Chalmers. Sunday Mail, 31.

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