Triple P making headway in Japan

Prof Matt Sanders with Associate Professor Chiyomi Agami, from the Fukuoka Prefecture University. Dr Egami has been running Triple P Group and Stepping Stones Group Triple P courses as a practitioner in Japan.

Prof Matt Sanders with Associate Professor Chiyomi Egami, from the Fukuoka Prefecture University. Dr Egami has been running Triple P Group and Stepping Stones Group Triple P courses as a practitioner in Japan.

The use of the Triple – Positive Parenting Program to treat and prevent child maltreatment may be finding high-level support in Japan, an article in last week’s Yomiuri Shimbun suggests.

Triple P founder and director of the University of Queensland’s Parenting and Family Support Centre, Prof Matt Sanders, was in Japan last week to address the Japanese Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Prof Sanders met with the Governor of Wakayama Prefecture, Yoshinobu Nisaka, and raised the importance of governments taking a public health approach to treat and prevent problems of child maltreatment.

The meeting was covered by Yomiuri Shimbun, a newspaper regarded as having the largest readership in the world with a daily circulation of more than 13 million readers.

Governor Nisaka is quoted in Yomiuri Shimbun as saying that he would like to actively implement Triple P.

Child maltreatment has been a focus in Wakayama prefecture following a high-profile case last year resulting in the death of a child in Wakayama City.

A growing body of research indicates that Triple P is highly effective in Japan.

The latest study, published in the Journal of Psychological Abnormalities in Children, provides promising evidence that Group Triple P is effective for Japanese families raising preschool and school-aged children with developmental disabilities.

Conducted by an interdisciplinary group from the University of Tsukuba, the Tsukuba International University and the Ibaraki Disabled Children’s Hospital, the study looked at the effects of Group Triple P on 55 participating families.

Significant intervention effects were determined for emotional symptoms, conduct problems and difficult behaviour. Parents also recorded significant improvement in levels of depression, anxiety and stress, while also reporting greater teamwork and support for each other.

Despite limitations of the research, the study authors recommended that Group Triple P be widely deployed in Japan “as an effective improvement and relief program’’ for families raising preschool or school-aged children with developmental disabilities.

Triple P was introduced to Japan by a pilot study (Matsumoto, 2007) followed by an efficacy trial (Matsumoto, 2010) which provided support for the effectiveness and cultural acceptability of Triple P in Japanese society.

In 2011, Fujiwara et al demonstrated the effectiveness of Group Triple P in reducing conduct problems and hyperactivity.