Information technology support for parents
Title: Information technology-based support for parents: a rapid evidence assessment
Author: Parenting Research Centre
Commissioned by: Victorian Government Department of Education and Training
This rapid evidence assessment looked at the state and quality of the evidence on how effective information technology interventions are in changing parent behaviour and improving outcomes for parents and children.
While we found limited research addressing this topic, the practice of connecting information technology based interventions with face-to-face services appears to have value.
Importantly, our assessment of the evidence showed that the technology was a means to an end – rather than an end in itself. The underlying approach to an intervention needs to be effective in order for the technology to be effective.
And simple interventions seemed to work best for simple outcomes. For example, text messages may be useful for reminders and prompts but may be less useful for more complex behaviour change.
- Parents use web-based, self-directed support and education more often than other types of information technology-based intervention
- This type of intervention is useful for improving parenting skills, parent behaviour and parent outcomes.
- Online therapies and parenting programs are comparable to face-to-face programs and are associated with improved outcomes
- Interactive websites appear to work better for improving knowledge and changing attitudes than static, information-only websites
- Interactive text messages may be useful for filling some service gaps in areas with poor access to services
- Barriers to delivering information technology-based interventions include access to equipment and poor internet speed.
- Read the report (PDF 2.6MB)