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Parents Plus Adolescents Programme

An evidence-based parenting course promoting effective communication and positive relationships in families with adolescents aged 11 to 16 years.  

John Sharry, Carol Fitzpatrick

The Adolescents Programme considers how parents can connect with and build good relationships with their teenage children, while also being firm and influential in their lives. The DVD for this programme illustrates well-researched principles of effective communication and conflict resolution which parents can use with their teenagers, with the aim of helping them grow into responsible young adults. As well as role-play scenes and interviews with parents, the DVDs include interviews with young people about what it is like to be a teenager and their views about what makes families run smoothly.

Topics Include

  • Getting to know and connecting with your teenager
  • Communicating positively and effectively
  • Building your teenager’s self-esteem and confidence
  • Negotiating rules and boundaries
  • Teaching teenagers responsibility
  • Positive discipline for teenagers
  • Managing conflict
  • Solving problems together

Programme Materials Include PPAP covers

  • Two hours of DVD footage containing over 60 real and role-played scenes of family interactions, which are backed up by comments from professionals, parents and teenagers.
  • A comprehensive Facilitator’s Manual that contains the full text of the DVDs, extensive background information, a full guide on how to prepare and run each session of the course, as well as specific information on tackling the most common teenager problems and issues.
  • Two Parents Booklets that contain all the handouts and worksheets for participants.
  • The package also comes with an accompanying parents’ book, Parenting Teenagers, which contains several extra chapters on tackling modern teenage problems (Authors: John Sharry and Carol Fitzpatrick).

In running subsequent courses, additional parent booklets can be purchased at cost price by trained facilitators. Trained facilitators are also licensed to copy additional worksheets and handouts from parent booklets as needed.

Upcoming Training Programmes

Facilitator Materials

You may only purchase programme materials without training if you are a facilitator who already has been trained or belong to an agency with staff already trained. Please provide the name of the trained facilitator below.

Facilitator Details

Approximate date in which the course was attended:

Order Parent Booklets

  • AP Parents Book - cover 2016
    Adolescent’s Programme Parent Booklets Pack (contains 15 booklets)
    € 120
    per pack
  • Adolescent’s Programme Materials
    € 500
    per pack
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Manual Upgrade Guide

In November 2016, the Parents Plus Adolescents Programme (PPAP) was updated and fourth editions of the Facilitator Manual and Parent Booklet were published. If you are using an older edition of the PPAP Facilitator Manual with the fourth edition of the Parent Booklet, please note the changes outlined in the document here.


The Parents Plus Adolescents Programme is evidence based and several studies attest to its effectiveness in clinical, preventative and community settings PPA research link.

  • Clinical setting: 

    This study is a first-level evaluation of a family intervention targeted at adolescents with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) attending Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Ireland. It is a combined implementation of the Working Things Out adolescent programme and the Parents Plus Adolescent Programme (WTOPPAP).

    Method: A total of 93 adolescents aged 11–17 years (M = 14.64, SD = 1.31; 39% male) and their parents took part in the study. The study used a quasi-experimental One-Group Pretest-Posttest design to assess change from pre- to post-intervention using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the McMaster General Functioning Scale, Goal Attainment, Parent Stress Scale and the Kansas Parenting Satisfaction Scale. Both parent- and adolescent-rated goal attainment and general family functioning improved from pre- to post-intervention. Parents also rated their satisfaction with parenting as having significantly improved. Adolescent-rated emotional difficulties significantly improved for the overall sample and parent-rated child total difficulties for female adolescents significantly improved from pre-test to post-test. Parents of female adolescents also reported a significant drop in parental stress. These findings indicate that the WTOPPAP may be an effective intervention for adolescents with SEBD, particularly females, and their parents. Further implications are discussed. See full paper

    Community Setting:

    Using an RCT design, PPAP was evaluated through a programme roll-out in secondary schools in Kerry and Cork in Ireland, involving 109 parents assigned either to a treatment group (n = 70) or a waiting list control group (n = 39). Assessment took place before and immediately after the eight-week intervention for both groups and at six-month follow-up for the PPAP group. Compared to the waiting list group post-programme, the PPAP group displayed significant reductions in total difficulties and conduct problems as measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, decreased parental stress as measured by the Parenting Stress Index, increased parental satisfaction as measured by the Kansas Parenting Scale, as well as significant improvements in parent-defined problems and goals. The study has been submitted as a PhD thesis in University of Limerick (Nitsch, 2011), and was published by Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health (Nitsch, Hannon, Rickard, Houghton & Sharry, 2015).