A systematic review of technology-assisted parenting programs for mental health problems in youth aged 0–18 years: Applicability to underserved Australian communities

Ashlyn Hansen, Grace Broomfield, Marie B. H. Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Youth mental health problems have been identified as a major public health concern. However, there are a number of parent populations that remain under-engaged with face-to-face parenting programs, which include fathers, and parents of lower socioeconomic position and rural location. This review aimed to evaluate the evidence for technology-assisted parenting programs for youth mental health and parenting outcomes; as well as the extent to which they engage underserved parent populations and how they can be better tailored for these groups in an Australian context. Methods: Employing the PRISMA method, we conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials of technology-assisted parenting programs for youth mental health problems. Results: We identified 47 articles that met inclusion criteria, consisting of 25 randomised controlled trials along with 8 and 14 articles describing intervention development and follow-up, respectively. Some evidence was found to support the use of technology-assisted parenting programs, particularly to improve externalising problems and parenting skills. Additionally, program development and recruitment strategies to engage underserved parents were under-utilised among studies reviewed. Conclusions: Findings from this review indicate that technology-assisted parenting programs may present an effective alternative to traditional face-to-face programs. However, more comprehensive and evidence-based strategies are required for program development and recruitment to capitalise on the advantages of technology-assisted programs to enhance engagement with underserved parent populations. Further research should investigate program attributes and engagement strategies for diverse parent populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-462
Number of pages30
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Australia
  • mental health
  • parenting
  • systematic literature review
  • technology-assisted
  • young people

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