Stepping Stones Triple P-Positive Parenting Program for children with disability: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Research paper by Cassandra L CL Tellegen, Matthew R MR Sanders

Indexed on: 12 Mar '13Published on: 12 Mar '13Published in: Research in Developmental Disabilities


This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the treatment effects of a behavioral family intervention, Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) for parents of children with disabilities. SSTP is a system of five intervention levels of increasing intensity and narrowing population reach. Twelve studies, including a total of 659 families, met eligibility criteria. Studies needed to have evaluated SSTP, be written in English or German, contribute original data, and have sufficient data for analyses. No restrictions were placed on study design. A series of meta-analyses were performed for seven different outcome categories. Analyses were conducted on the combination of all four levels of SSTP for which evidence exists (Levels 2-5), and were also conducted separately for each level of SSTP. Significant moderate effect sizes were found for all levels of SSTP for reducing child problems, the primary outcome of interest. On secondary outcomes, significant overall effect sizes were found for parenting styles, parenting satisfaction and efficacy, parental adjustment, parental relationship, and observed child behaviors. No significant treatment effects were found for observed parenting behaviors. Moderator analyses showed no significant differences in effect sizes across the levels of SSTP intervention, with the exception of child observations. Risk of bias within and across studies was assessed. Analyses suggested that publication bias and selective reporting bias were not likely to have heavily influenced the findings. The overall evidence base supported the effectiveness of SSTP as an intervention for improving child and parent outcomes in families of children with disabilities. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.