Can the Australian parent education program, Parenting Young Children, for parents with intellectual disability be implemented to good effect with parents in Sweden?

The first international implementation of the Parenting Young Children (PYC) program is underway in Sweden. The project will evaluate how a model of low-intensity implementation support can influence the adoption and use of PYC across 23 municipalities in Sweden. The project will also investigate practitioner, organisational and system-level factors that influence the successful adoption and implementation of the program into the Swedish context.

Agencies and practitioners across Sweden will implement PYC with families. The research will be overseen in a collaborative effort between the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Brock University in Canada and the Parenting Research Centre (PRC). Funding for the project has been provided by the Swedish Government, with over 5 million Swedish kroner being awarded to the team over three separate grants (2011-2016).

Parenting Young Children was developed by the PRC to help parents with intellectual disability learn basic parenting skills and develop confidence in their ability to parent their children. The program is based on over 20 years of research and was adapted from evidence-based parenting programs developed in Canada and the United States. This research project is examining whether this program can be successfully translated and implemented with professionals supporting parents with intellectual disability in Sweden.

PYC has been translated into Swedish and over 120 practitioners have participated in an introductory workshop. Of these 120 practitioners, 50 have taken part in an additional three-day intensive training workshop designed to support them to use the program with families. Once training is completed, participants have ongoing access to the program developers and a peer support network with a focus on improving program fidelity. These additional support systems are part of a low intensity implementation model adopted for this project.

The evaluation of the implementation of PYC in Sweden will be conducted in three phases:

  • Phase 1, now complete, saw the use of qualitative methods including focus group interviews and in-depth individual interviews to assess the social validity of the Swedish version of PYC, from the perspective of professionals and parents using the program. Findings from Phase 1 have been presented at international conferences including the 2012 World Congress of the International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability in Canada and the Nordic Conference on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice in Sweden, and have been recently published in a peer-reviewed journal (Starke, Wade, Feldman & Mildon, 2013).
  • Phase 2 will see the evaluation of the low-intensity implementation support model using a multiple case study approach to the analysis of pre-, mid- and post-intervention data measuring practitioner and organisational characteristics, attitudes to evidence-based practice, program fidelity, duration and dose, parenting practices, parent-child interactions, program acceptability, and satisfaction with the program.
  • Phase 3 will evaluate the sustainability of PYC in Sweden.

Read more detailed information about this project

Partners for Parenting with a Learning Difficulty in Sweden


Sweden Center for Applied Disability Studies


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Year in Review 2013-14

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