A tailored online intervention to improve parenting risk and protective factors for child anxiety and depression: Medium-term findings from a randomized controlled trial

Wan Hua Sim, Luwishennadige Madhawee N. Fernando, Anthony F. Jorm, Ronald M. Rapee, Katherine A. Lawrence, Andrew J. Mackinnon, Marie B.H. Yap

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite considerable evidence on parenting risk and protective factors for child anxiety and depressive disorders, the development of interventions based on this evidence is still lagging behind. To address this gap, the web-based Parenting Resilient Kids (PaRK) program was developed to target these risk and protective factors. This study evaluated the effects of the program at 12-month follow-up. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with a community sample of 355 parents and 342 children (Mchild age = 9.79). Parents randomized into the web-based PaRK intervention condition received a personalized feedback report about their parenting and were recommended a tailored course of up to 12 interactive modules. Parents in the control condition received a standard set of web-based educational factsheets. Results: Parents in the intervention group demonstrated significantly greater improvement in self-reported parenting compared to control group parents from baseline to 12-month follow-up, d = 0.24, 95% CI [0.03, 0.45]. Both groups showed reductions in child anxiety and depressive symptoms, parental psychological control and unhealthy family functioning; and improvements in parental acceptance, child- and parent- health-related quality of life. Limitations: The PaRK intervention was tailored based on the parents’ own report of their parenting behaviors. There was an over-representation of highly-educated mothers and only one parent-child dyad was included per family. Conclusions: PaRK improved parenting for up to 12 months, but had no superior effect on children's mental health outcomes compared with an educational-factsheet intervention. Further follow-up is needed to assess longer-term effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-824
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Family
  • Internalizing
  • Internet
  • Mental health
  • Parent
  • Prevention

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