Dysfunctional Parenting Directly Affects Children’s Behavior in Life

The teen ‘Triple P’ which stands for Positive Parenting Program decided to conduct a survey to determine if dysfunctional parenting puts children at risk of developing behavior problems later in life.  The teen Triple P conducted surveys and interviews with parents and children in an area with a high teen crime rate.  After conducted surveys they asked parents to attend meeting to help with parenting their teenager.  This was intended to make the teen crime rate in their area decrease if enough parents would attend the classes. The classes were found helpful and most parents benefited positively from the parenting skills taught in the class.  Parents who reported back had less problems dealing with their teens. 

The study is on whether or not dysfunctional parenting leads to children developing conduct problems and if parenting classes can help parents control the conduct of their teen.  Children with conduct problems are at high risk of later delinquent behavior.  602 parents with children 12-13 years old were interviewed in an 18 min phone conversation. 453 students were surveyed after the parent phone interviews were completed.   All the people were from area with high juvenile crime rates. These students and parents were taken from two schools in one southern and one northland Queensland location in Australia. Both locations were “low socioeconomic areas with high juvenile crime rates”. The Positive Parenting Program known as the Teen ‘Triple P’ developed by the University of Queenland conducted the research study.  The Teen Triple P is a parenting and family support system that was created to support parents and children that fit into something called the late-starter model of behavior.  Children who fit into the late-starter model of behavior are children who show “anti-social/conduct behavior problems” in their later childhood such as early adolescence. 

The Teen Triple P conducted the study by phone interviewing the parents with 18 min interviews.  The interviews consisted of verification they were a parent of a child enrolled in one of the two schools.  The phone interviews also consisted of questions relating to the strengths and difficulties, which asked about their child’s behavior, and family background questions, which asked about their family structure and composition. The students filled out surveys at school asking them about many different risky adolescent behavior including: smoking, alcohol, drug use, sexual activity and antisocial behavior.  After that the parents were invited to participate in parenting group sessions. In the group sessions parents were taught how to manage their children’s behavior. The Teen Triple P picked their participants from a low socioeconomic area with high juvenile crime rates.  They picked the Queensland location because they wanted to determine why the juveniles were acting so negatively.  The test consisted of 602 parents and 453 students.  In the parenting group sessions from the northern area sessions 37 parents attended at least one class and 26 parents completed the program.  In the southern area 41 parents attended at least one session and 30 completed the program. 

In this research experiment they used interviews, surveys and group sessions for the parents.  The interviews were conducted over the phone and they were only used with the parents.  The surveys were given to the children at school.  In the group sessions they used the method of observation and filling out assessments than they would teach parents parenting skills.  This study was a cross-sectional study because it took a little over a month to complete.  It was not done over years and years.  They collected the data once and then analyzed it all.  Once they analyzed all the surveys and interviews they gave the parents a parenting class.

Most parents who participated in the study showed positive outcomes.  When they learned how to control their child they had a decrease in many factors such as laxness, over-reactivity, personal agency, self-efficacy, self-sufficiency, self-management, parental conflict, depression, anxiety, and stress.  This shows that the way a parent parents their child determines the way a child will be in life including interactions with others and making decisions.  This can be used in real life by parents realizing the way you raise a child is directly related to their behavior later in life.  A child will be more likely to engage in disorderly conduct is they had dysfunctional parenting.

The outcome of this study was a surprise.  It seemed like most parents would not change their parenting style because it would be hard to change that after already doing it one way for at least twelve years.  In most cases it seems logical for the parents to take the information into account for a short amount of time and than slowly progress into using their old ways of parenting.  It was surprising that the parents could admit they were doing something wrong and change their routines.  It was not surprising that when the parents changed their parenting habits the parent and child relationship improved because the tests and surveys were used to find out exactly what was going wrong with their parenting.  Then the classes pointed out ways for the parents to fix their problems.  The strong points of this study were taking the surveys and interviews before giving the classes to the parents so the teen Triple P knew exactly what to teach in the classes.  Factors that were not taken into account in the study were the levels of dysfunctional parenting each parent had and if their child already had behavior problems.  It is more likely for a child who is already an overall good kid to respond even better to proper parenting.  A child with behavior problems is probably not going to be as susceptible to different parenting techniques because they are already very set in their ways.  A mother may work a lot and never see her child and has a nanny who baby-sits him or her every day. That nanny could be the reason why the child has behavior problems.   Another factor not taken into account is the number of people surveyed before the test was extremely higher than the ones who reported the results later.  It could be possible the only people who reported the results after the classes are the ones with positive results; the people who had negative results could be embarrassed to report back.  The survey should have been taken by the children related to the parents doing to the phone interviews.   The children and the parents were all random and parenting techniques could vary greatly between different parents and have different effects on different children.



Ralph, A. Sanders, M. (2006). The Teen Triple P Postive Parenting Program a preliminary evaluation.  Youth Studies Australia, 25, 41-48, Retrieved July 13, 2006, from Ebsco Host database.