Triple P System

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Community-Based, Multi-Sector
Child Abuse
Target Audience 

This program is delivered to parents of children who are birth to 16 years old and is intended to impact children and families.


Triple P System is a community-based public health approach that is designed to provide parents with strategies for child management in order to help them improve their parenting skills.


A population-based, stratified randomized trial was conducted on the Triple P System.  Two years after the beginning of the implementation, positive results were found for outcomes related to child maltreatment.  In the Triple P counties, rates of out-of-home child placements and rates of hospital and emergency room visits for child maltreatment injuries decreased, while, in control counties, they increased.  In the Triple P counties, rates of substantiated child maltreatment cases increased less than in control counties.  No other parent or child outcomes were measured in this study.


The ultimate goal of the Triple P System is to prevent child and youth behavioral and emotional problems and develop more positive parent-child relationships.  The Triple P System is comprised of five levels of services.

Level 1 includes media and informational strategies focused on de-stigmatizing parenting support and facilitating help-seeking.  This is done through radio, newspapers, newsletters, mass mailings, presence at community events, and websites.
Level 2 is comprised of parenting seminars or brief one-on-one consultations.  The seminars are intended to introduce parents to parenting approaches and the Triple P System and to provide an opportunity for individuals to receive advice and information.  The consultations are designed to help with discrete problem behaviors and also include advice and information.
Level 3 is a series of four brief consultations designed to help parents with specific problematic child behaviors or issues.  Dissemination of advice and information is combined with skills training.
Level 4 is for parents of children who have more critical issues, such as aggressive or oppositional behavior.  Two types of sessions are offered:  10 individual family sessions or five group sessions that include three follow-up telephone sessions.  Both sessions incorporate active skills training and support.
Level 5 is for parents who have additional risk factors (e.g., partner conflict, mental health issues).  This level may include skills training in coping, communication, partner support, or temper control or child management practice sessions.

Previous Use 

Triple P was created in Australia in 1977 and is currently being implemented in 25 countries around the world.


Training is required, and an extensive range of practitioners implement this program, including social workers, psychologists, doctors, nurses, school counselors, teachers, and clergy.  Two to three days of on-site training and a half-day of follow-up training costs approximately $21,500 to $26,200 for up to 20 practitioners depending on the training level.


Considerations for implementing this program include understanding that this version of the program includes implementing all five levels of the program, which would require buy-in from the community, stakeholders, and participants; finding time for training and program implementation; acquiring space to hold sessions; and obtaining training and implementation funds.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


If you are interested in implementing Triple P System, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Implementation time for levels 1 and 5 varies.  Levels 2 and 3 consultations are 20 minutes long.  Level 4 individual family sessions last 90 minutes, and the group sessions last 2 hours each.  Individual and family participation varies based on interest and need.


Parent workbooks cost $20 to $32 per participant; positive parenting booklets cost $6.50 per participant; Parenting tip sheets cost $8 to $11 for a set of 10.

Evaluation Plan 

To move the Triple P System to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence at least two evaluations must be conducted that demonstrate sustained, positive outcomes with a representative sample. One of these studies must be conducted independently of the program developer.

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185 Email:

You may also contact Triple P America by phone 1-803-451-2278, email, or visit

Source;; and Prinz, Sanders, Shapiro, Whitaker, and Lutzker (2009).

References - Used For Placement 

Prinz, R. J., Sanders, M. R., Shapiro, C. J., Whitaker, D. J., & Lutzker, J. R. (2009).  Population-based prevention of child maltreatment: The U.S. Triple P System population trial. Prevention Science, 10, 1-12.

References - Not Used For Placement - Secondary analysis/Meta analysis 

Sanders, M. R., Kirby, J. N., Tellegen, C. L., & Day, J. J. (2014). The triple P-positive parenting program: A systematic review and meta-analysis of a multi-level system of parenting support. Clinical Psychology Review, 34, 337-357.

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.