Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Stepping Stones Triple P for Parents of Children with Disabilities

Research paper by AIlbhe Ruane, Alan Carr

Indexed on: 10 Mar '18Published on: 09 Mar '18Published in: Family Process


The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the effectiveness of Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) parent training programs on child behavior problems and parenting outcomes in families of children with developmental disabilities. Sixteen suitable studies including data from over 900 families were identified in a search for English language published and unpublished controlled outcome studies. SSTP has five levels on a graded continuum of increasing intensity targeting families with differing degrees of treatment need from low intensity media-based parenting information campaigns at level 1, through brief interventions at levels 2 and 3, to more intensive parent training and family therapy interventions at levels 4 and 5. Analyses were conducted on the combination of all levels of SSTP and separately for each level. For combined levels, significant overall effect sizes were found for parent-reported child problems (d = 0.46), researcher observed child behavior (d = 0.51), parenting style (d = 0.70), parenting satisfaction/self-efficacy (d = 0.44), parental adjustment (d = 0.27), and coparental relationship (d = 0.26), but not researcher-observed parent behavior. Strong support was found for level 4 SSTP as an effective intervention for improving child and parent outcomes in families of children with disabilities who have clinically significant problems. Less intensive SSTP interventions for cases with circumscribed difficulties yielded fewer significant treatment effects, and there were relatively few studies of such interventions.