Parents have the most significant impact on children’s development and the key parenting factors that promote child development and wellbeing are well known. Furthermore, many behavioural, social and emotional problems in children are associated with poor parenting practices. Parenting interventions that address parental skill deficits and teach positive parenting principles based on social learning theory are effective and are the recommended treatment for conduct disorder. Alongside the development of treatment programmes, universal parenting programmes have been developed; many present the same core parenting principles but their rationales vary from promoting children’s development to addressing common behavioural challenges and the evidence for these programmes is less well established. Most parents now have internet access and are making daily use of it, including seeking advice on parenting matters but that advice is often anecdotal and lacking evidence. In the meantime, a small number of web-based programmes, including parenting programmes have been developed and evaluated. This paper summarises the rationale for web-based universal programmes to support parents and briefly describes the history, content and a summary of the initial research on the COPING (confident parent internet guide) programme developed by the authors. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research directions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited