Internet-based parent management training: a randomized controlled study

Behav Res Ther. 2012 Apr;50(4):240-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Jan 30.


Objective: The current study evaluated the efficacy of an Internet-based parent-training program for children with conduct problems. Dose-response ratio and costs for the program were also considered.

Method: Parents of 104 children (aged 3-12 years) were randomly allocated to either parent training or a waitlist control condition. Diagnostic assessment was conducted at baseline and parent ratings of child externalizing behaviors and parent strategies were completed before and after treatment and at 6-month follow-up.

Results: At post-treatment assessment, children whose parent(s) had received the intervention showed a greater reduction in conduct problems compared to the waitlist children. Between group intent-to-treat effect sizes (Cohen's d) on the Eyberg Intensity and Problem scales were .42 and .72, respectively (study completers .66 and 1.08). In addition, parents in the intervention group reported less use of harsh and inconsistent discipline after the treatment, as well as more positive praise. Effects on behavior problems were maintained at 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions: The results support the efficacy of parent training, administered through Internet, with outcomes comparable to many of the group-based parent training programs. The efficacy, low cost, and higher accessibility make this intervention a fitting part in a stepped-care model.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conduct Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Parents / education*
  • Treatment Outcome