Te Whānau Pou Toru: a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of a Culturally Adapted Low-Intensity Variant of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program for Indigenous Māori Families in New Zealand


Evidence-based parenting support programs (EBPS) based on social learning and cognitive behavioral principles are effective in reducing conduct-related problems in a diverse range of cultural contexts. However, much less is known about their effects with indigenous families. A Collaborative Participation Adaptation Model (CPAM) was used to culturally adapt a low-intensity, two-session group variant of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program for Māori parents of young children in New Zealand. CPAM involved collaborating closely with Māori tribal elders, practitioners as end-users, and parents as consumers through a participatory process to identify content and delivery process used in Triple P that would ensure that traditional Māori cultural values were incorporated. The culturally adapted program (Te Whānau Pou Toru) was then evaluated with 70 parents of 3–7-year-old children in a two-arm randomized clinical trial (intervention vs waitlist control). Results showed that parents in the intervention group reported significantly greater improvements in child behavior problems and reduced interparental conflict about child-rearing compared to parents in the control group at immediate post-intervention. These intervention effects were either maintained or improved further at follow-up assessment. At 6-month follow-up intervention-group parents reported significantly greater reductions in overreactive parenting practices and greater confidence in managing a range of difficult child behaviors than control parents. The culturally adapted program was associated with high levels of parental satisfaction. Findings are discussed in terms of making brief, effective, culturally adapted parenting support available to Māori families.

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This research was funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, grant number 414953/349190/00.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Louise J. Keown.

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Conflicts of Interest

The Parenting and Family Support Centre is partly funded by royalties stemming from published resources of the Triple P–Positive Parenting Program, which is developed and owned by The University of Queensland (UQ). Royalties are also distributed to the Faculty of Health and Behavioral Sciences at UQ and contributory authors of published Triple P resources. Triple P International (TPI) Pty Ltd. is a private company licensed by Uniquest Pty Ltd. on behalf of UQ to publish and disseminate Triple P worldwide. Matthew Sanders is the founder and an author on various Triple P programs and a consultant to Triple P International. No other authors have any conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Auckland and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments. Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Auckland Human Research Ethics Committee on 31 March 2015, reference number 013889.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

A Consort checklist for the study is available online resource 1.

Electronic Supplementary Material


CONSORT 2010 checklist of information to include when reporting a randomised trial*. (DOCX 55 kb)


The Collaborative Participation and Adaptation Model (CPAM): Te Whānau Pou Toru example. (DOCX 20 kb)


Te Whānau Pou Toru Diagram. (PDF 3192 kb)


Te Whānau Pou Toru The Three Pillars of Positive Parenting Practices Handout. (PDF 961 kb)


Demographic characteristics of the sample. (DOCX 23 kb)

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Keown, L.J., Sanders, M.R., Franke, N. et al. Te Whānau Pou Toru: a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of a Culturally Adapted Low-Intensity Variant of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program for Indigenous Māori Families in New Zealand. Prev Sci 19, 954–965 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-018-0886-5

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  • Evidence-based parenting support
  • Parenting
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Prevention
  • Conduct problems