Online ADHD Program Helps Children and Their Parents

An online self-help intervention program can improve attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors in children and increase satisfaction in a parental role.

An online self-help intervention program can improve attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors in children and increase satisfaction in a parental role, according to a study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

Researchers from The University of Auckland in New Zealand divided 50 parents of children with ADHD into groups in order to evaluate the efficacy of a program called Triple P Online — Positive Parenting Program – an online self help program. The Triple P Online website describes their program as a “flexible, practical way to develop skills, strategies and confidence to handle any parenting situation.” It’s available as a free program in Queensland, Australia. The parent groups were assigned to either the intervention group or the delayed intervention groups. The children’s behaviors were measured by mothers, fathers, and their teachers, while the parenting measures were completed by mothers.

The groups were given access to the Triple P Online program for 16 weeks and also had access to consultants in the form of two phone calls to help direct their use of the program to fit their families’ needs.

At the conclusion of the study period, the children showed improvements in measures of hyperactivity and inattention, restlessness and impulsiveness, defiance and aggression, and social functioning, according to behaviors rated by their mothers. According to the measures rated by their teachers, the mothers also improved in areas such as maternal over reactivity, verbosity, laxness, positive parenting, parenting satisfaction, self efficacy, stress, and depression.

After a six month follow up period, these maternal effects were maintained in the measures of over reactivity, verbosity, parenting satisfaction, self efficacy, stress, and depression, the researchers wrote.

“This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of an online self help parenting program in reducing preschool inattentive behavior difficulties, and in increasing parenting competence, satisfaction in the parenting role, and maternal well being,” the study authors concluded.

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