Enhancing father engagement and interparental teamwork in an evidence-based parenting intervention: A randomized-controlled trial of outcomes and processes.

Jan 2016 | Frank Tenille, Louise Keown, and Matthew Sanders

This study examined the outcomes and process in a positive parenting program adapted to enhance father engagement and teamwork. A randomized control trial of the Group Triple P Program with additional father-relevant content was conducted with 42 families of children with conduct problems aged between 3 to 8years. Families were allocated to either the intervention or waitlist condition. Assessments of child behavior, self- and partner-reported parenting, and the interparental relationship were conducted at T1 (pre), T2 (post), and T3 (6-month follow-up). Observations were used to examine fathers’ and mothers’ unique and shared contributions to group process during participation in parenting group sessions. Following program completion (T2) intervention group fathers and mothers reported significantly fewer child behavior problems, dysfunctional parenting practices, and interparental conflict about child-rearing than waitlist parents. Intervention group mothers also reported increased parenting confidence and rated their partners as showing significantly fewer dysfunctional parenting practices. Intervention effects were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Observational data showed that fathers and mothers made similar contributions during the group sessions. The most frequent types of contributions were asking questions and sharing information with other parents about implementing parenting strategies. The key differences between parents were fathers' more frequent use of humor and mothers' more frequent sharing of personal stories and reporting co-parenting cooperation. The levels of session attendance and program satisfaction were high for both fathers and mothers. Findings highlight the potential benefits of efforts to engage both fathers and mothers for program adherence, satisfaction, and effectiveness.



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