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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2000 Oct;41(7):939-48.

The mass media and the prevention of child behavior problems: the evaluation of a television series to promote positive outcomes for parents and their children.

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  • 1Parenting and Family Support Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. matts@psy.uq.edu.au


This paper examines the impact of a 12-episode television series, "Families", on disruptive child behavior and family adjustment. This media intervention comprises the first of a five-level early intervention parenting and family support strategy, known as Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). Fifty-six parents of children aged between 2 and 8 years were randomly assigned to either watching the television series or to a waitlist control group. Compared to the control group, parents in the television viewing (TV) condition reported significantly lower levels of disruptive child behavior and higher levels of perceived parenting competence, immediately following intervention. Prior to intervention approximately 42.9% of the children in the TV condition were in the clinically elevated range for disruptive child behavioral problems. This had reduced to 14.3 % following intervention. In addition, a high level of consumer acceptability was reported by parents in the TV condition. All post-intervention effects were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Implications for public health approaches to family mental health are discussed.

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