University of Warwick: Families in West Midlands sought to trial parenting programme

Study at University of Warwick is testing a new online programme for children’s wellbeing
Parents of young adolescents aged 11 – 15 years attending school in the West Midlands invited to participate
Parents with young adolescents aged 11 – 15 years are being invited to help trial a new online programme that aims to help parents or carers support the wellbeing of adolescents.

The trial is led by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and is testing a new online parenting programme, called Partners in Parenting, that helps parents and carers to understand adolescent behaviours and to promote better communication between them. They are inviting families with young adolescents at secondary schools in the West Midlands to take part.

Parents and carers can express their interest in participating by contacting the school that their child attends or by e-mailing the trial team at

The online Parenting Intervention to Prevent affective disorders in high-risk Adolescents (PIPA) trial will investigate whether the programme can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in UK young adolescents and thereby prevent these conditions developing. The aim is to determine whether this programme could provide an effective solution where we currently have none, and that is cost-effective for the health service.

Chief Investigator Professor Andrew Thompson of Warwick Medical School said: “This is the first online intervention specifically aimed at helping parents or carers to improve the long-term mental health of their young adolescents. It is crucial to see if interventions like this one can help, especially at a time when many young people’s mental health is disproportionately affected by the impact of Covid.”

Partners in Parenting focusses on enabling parents and carers to better understand typical adolescent behaviours and to promote better communication between them, using an evidence-based approach that has already been successfully trialled in Australia. Families would be helping researchers to determine if this innovative programme can help others like them in the UK.

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