Prevention Science

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-12

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Population-Based Prevention of Child Maltreatment: The U.S. Triple P System Population Trial

  • Ronald J. PrinzAffiliated withPsychology Department, University of South Carolina Email author 
  • , Matthew R. SandersAffiliated withUniversity of Queensland
  • , Cheri J. ShapiroAffiliated withPsychology Department, University of South Carolina
  • , Daniel J. WhitakerAffiliated withGeorgia State University
  • , John R. LutzkerAffiliated withGeorgia State University


The prevention of child maltreatment necessitates a public health approach. In the U.S. Triple P System Population Trial, 18 counties were randomly assigned to either dissemination of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program system or to the services-as-usual control condition. Dissemination involved Triple P professional training for the existing workforce (over 600 service providers), as well as universal media and communication strategies. Large effect sizes were found for three independently derived population indicators: substantiated child maltreatment, child out-of-home placements, and child maltreatment injuries. This study is the first to randomize geographical areas and show preventive impact on child maltreatment at a population level using evidence-based parenting interventions.


Child maltreatment Parenting Population intervention Dissemination