Prevention Science

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 421–431 | Cite as

Surviving or Thriving: Quality Assurance Mechanisms to Promote Innovation in the Development of Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions

  • Matthew R. Sanders
  • James N. Kirby


Parenting interventions have the potential to make a significant impact to the prevention and treatment of major social and mental health problems of children. However, parenting interventions fail to do so because program developers pay insufficient attention to the broader ecological context that influences the adoption and implementation of evidence-based interventions. This context includes the professional and scientific community, end users, consumers, and broader sociopolitical environment within which parenting services are delivered. This paper presents an iterative stage model of quality assurance steps to guide ongoing research and development particularly those related to program innovations including theory building, intervention development, pilot testing, efficacy and effectiveness trials, program refinement, dissemination, and planning for implementation and political advocacy. The key challenges associated with each phase of the research and development process are identified. Stronger consumer participation throughout the entire process from initial program design to wider community dissemination is an important, but an often ignored part of the process. Specific quality assurance mechanisms are discussed that increase accountability, professional, and consumer confidence in an intervention and the evidence supporting its efficacy.


Parenting intervention Innovation Quality assurance Prevention 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Parenting and Family Support CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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