Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

Program snapshot

Age group: Early childhood (0-6); Late childhood (7-11)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families

Topic: Aggressive/violent behaviours; Antisocial/deviant behaviours

Setting: Rural/remote area; Urban area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Alberta; Manitoba; Ontario

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is a parenting program that gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage their children’s behaviours and build strong, healthy relationships. The Triple P training assumes that parents will have different needs and require various levels of support. As such, Triple P is based on a flexible system of increasing intensity: from offering general information for all parents, to mid-range guidance (tip sheets, parenting advice, and workshops), to offering more advanced clinical help for parents who are experiencing significant behavioural issues with their children.

The program is centered on cognitive behavioural therapy; community mobilization; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; family therapy; parent training; skills training; and social  emotional learning.


The main goals of the Triple P program are to:

  • Enhance the knowledge, skills, confidence, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness of parents;
  • Promote nurturing, safe, engaging, non-violent, and low conflict environments for children; and
  • Promote children's social, emotional, language, intellectual, and behavioural competencies through positive parenting practices while reducing children’s behaviour problems.


The appropriate clientele for the Triple P program are parents with a child ages 0 to 12 who are experiencing significant behavioural issues with their children and/or whose children have behaviour issues.

Youth and their parents are referred to the program through community outreach campaigns that use newspaper ads or brochures in schools, daycare centres, and healthcare settings. Recruitment may also take place through professional referrals.

Core Components

The Triple P program has five intervention levels of increasing intensity and narrowing population reach. Any family with at least one child from birth to 12 years of age is eligible for any of the five programming levels; parents determine for themselves how much help they require. There are differing program activities at each level of the intervention:

  • Level 1 – Universal Triple P:  Uses a media campaign to reach out to parents who are seeking help. The media campaign contains some tips and guidelines for parents, but they are primarily a means of getting the word out about Triple P and upcoming parent training seminars;
  • Level 2 – Selected Triple P: Is primarily targeted at parents who are dealing with minor behaviour problems or smaller issues that do not require intensive intervention. There are two delivery options for this intervention: brief consultation with individual parents and parenting seminars delivered to large groups of parents. The brief consultations involve one or two meetings lasting about 20 minutes and the other delivery format consists of three 90-minute sessions aimed at large populations of parents;
  • Level 3 – Primary care Triple P: Families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will benefit the most from this level of assistance and training. The delivery format is four 20-minute consultations that incorporate active skills training and parenting tip sheets that cover common developmental issues (i.e., potty training) and behavioural problems;
  • Level 4 – Standard and group Triple P: Is targeted at populations of children who have detectable problems which may not be clinically diagnosed and at parents who are struggling with child-rearing challenges. There are two delivery formats at this level of intervention. The first is 10 sessions, lasting about 90 minutes each, with individual families. The second format is given to large groups, and includes 8 sessions. Five of these are 2-hour sessions that allow parents to learn through observation, discussion, practice, and feedback. There are also three 15- to 30-minute follow-up sessions done by telephone that give additional support to parents as they apply what they have learned at home; and
  • Level 5 – Enhanced Triple P: This is an optional version of level 4 but it is geared toward parents that are in need of more serious intervention. This level of programming has additional modules on partner communication, mood management, stress-coping skills, and addressing parent–child issues.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: It is important to tailor seminars, activities, and workshops by age group so that parents’ common concerns can be adequately addressed.
  • Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with daycare centres, healthcare facilities, schools, and other community-based organizations.
  • Training and technical assistance: Practitioners must participate in a two-day training course and a half-day accreditation course before they are able to administer the program.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Promising
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Effective - One study
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Near Top Tier

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

Triple P has been implemented in several provinces: Alberta (Stepping Stones, Family Support for Children with Disabilities Program, Alberta Human Services, Government of Alberta); in Manitoba (Healthy Child Manitoba; Government of Manitoba) and in Ontario (some regional service sites are currently delivering Triple P in the North, Southwest, Est and Central Ontario).

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

An outcome evaluation study of the Triple P was conducted over a twelve-week period in 2012 by McConnell and colleagues from the University of Alberta. The study was funded by the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. The aim of the study was to determine whether implementation of levels 2 and 3 of the Triple P, designed for primary care settings, enhances parent, child, and family outcomes compared with services-as-usual in Alberta. The study employed a quasi-experimental, single-blind and post-test-only design.

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • Parents who participated in a group-based parent education program and who received a Triple P intervention reported somewhat higher levels of need satisfaction than parents who participated in a group-based parent education program but who did not receive a Triple P intervention; and
  • No significant difference was found between Triple P and service-as-usual groups on any secondary outcome measures including parenting stress, positive interaction, family functioning, and child problem behaviours.

For more details, refer to McConnell et al.’s (2012) publication.

Cost Information

The cost is not available in Canadian dollars. In the United States in 2013, the total cost of implementing the Triple P program was $2,367,393 (USD). The total dollar value of $2,367,393 (USD) represents a cost of $23.67 (USD) per family in a community serving 100,000 families. (Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, 2015).


Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (2015). Triple P System - Program Information. Available from:

McConnell, D., Breitkreuz, R., & Savage, A. (2012). Independent evaluation of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program in family support service settings. Child & Family Social Work, 17, 43-54. Available from:  

Healthy Child Manitoba (2010). A Developmental Evaluation of Manitoba’s Provincial Implementation: Data from the 2008 Comprehensive Practitioner and Manager Interview. Manitoba. This report summarizes data collected in the fall and winter of 2008 about the implementation of the Triple P program with practitioners and managers. Available from:

For more information on this program, contact:

Triple P Canada
Debbie Easton
Telephone: (905) 392- 6976

 Triple P Alberta:

Triple P Manitoba:

Triple P Ontario:

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-14
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: