Parents taking part in a recent study funded by Australian Rotary Health (ARH) have said that a new parenting program has helped to improve their teenager’s mood.

Lead investigator of the study Associate Professor Marie Yap from Monash University, was awarded an ARH Mental Health Research Grant from 2015-2017 to test the effectiveness of the Partners in Parenting (PiP) program, designed to prevent depression and anxiety problems in adolescents.

The trial tested whether the teens of parents who received PiP had more improvement in their depression and anxiety symptoms, compared to teens of parents who received an online fact sheet about teenage development and wellbeing.

“Overall parents who took part in our study think that their teen’s depression and anxiety symptoms reduced over the 12 months after starting the program,” Associate Professor Yap said.

“It is possible that providing parents with credible information via the internet about parenting teenagers can benefit their teen’s mental health, regardless of whether it is an interactive program like PiP or factsheets, but parents had a clear preference for PiP.”

The study found that parents on average completed almost three-quarters of the PiP program, with 44% completing all of it.

Parents also reported feeling more skillful and confident in their parenting ability immediately after finishing the program, as well as 9 months later.

“Our project found that parents liked PiP and found it useful for their parenting and in helping their teen’s mental health. As an online program, parents all over the world can use PiP and benefit from it at a time and place convenient for them.”

“It can also reach parents who feel uncomfortable attending group parenting programs, but want more support in their parenting.”

The ‘brief program’, offers nine modules for parents to complete, taking roughly 15-20 minutes for each one.

“Although PiP is such a brief program, it has a meaningful benefit for parents and their teenagers which lasts up to a year after parents start their program,” Associate Professor Yap said.

The findings from this study have been published in journals including the Journal of Medical Internet Research, JMIR Mental Health, and PeerJ. Further papers are currently under review.

Read the journal articles:

 

Media contact: Jessica Cooper – (02) 8837 1900 or jessica@arh.org.au