Monash University TOPS Parent Strategies | Coomera Anglican College

Monash University TOPS Parent Strategies

Monash Uni Logo



Evaluating the Therapist-assisted Online Parenting Strategies (TOPS)

Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Marie Yap, School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of
Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. Phone: (03) 9905 0723, email:
Co-investigator: Associate Professor Glenn Melvin, Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health; Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Monash University. Phone: (03) 9902 4562, email: Dr Bei Bei, School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Monash University. Phone: (03) 9905 3903, email:
Dr Michelle Blumfield, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food; School of Clinical Sciences Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. Phone: (03) 9902 0658, email: Professor Anthony Jorm, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. Phone: (03) 9035 7799, email:


Student Researchers: Catherine Fulgoni and Sarah Khor, Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) candidates, School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Monash University.
Phone: (03) 9905 1250, email:


Invitation to participate in research
You are invited to take part in research being conducted by Monash University as part of Doctorate of Psychology (Clinical) research. Please read this Explanatory Statement in full before deciding whether or not to participate. If you would like further information regarding any aspect of the project, please contact the researchers via the phone numbers or email addresses listed above.


What does the research involve?

This study aims to evaluate whether an online program supplemented with a telephone-support coach providing parents with personalised information and tips on parenting strategies is effective in improving parenting behaviours and confidence, and in turn improve teenage depression, anxiety and sleep problems.


What will I be asked to do?

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to do the following:


  1. Go online to (secured website; link to be determined).
    Fill in the online registration and consent form. You will be asked to confirm that you have discussed the project with your teenager and that they agree to take part too. You will be asked to provide brief demographic information so that we can ensure you are eligible for this study. We will also ask you to provide a telephone number that we can contact your teenager on at a preferred time and day of the week. If you consent for both you and your teenager to participate, click on ‘both my teenager and I agree to participate in this study’. You will be emailed a copy of the youth explanatory statement to give to your teenager.
  2. Your teenager will be contacted by phone by a member of the research team from the Monash University School of Psychological Sciences. The purpose of the phone call is to discuss with your teenager the explanatory statement to ensure they understand and agree to take part in the research. Your teenager can decide whether or not to take part in the study when the researcher contacts them. To ensure continuity of care for your teenager, we will seek your permission to contact your teenager’s mental-health care provider to inform them that you are participating in this study. No details about your program will be
    provided to your teen’s clinician unless you request and consent to it.
  3. If your teenager agrees to participate, the researcher will give you and your teen separate login details, and provide guidance as needed to complete an online assessment. The online assessment will take approximately 50-65 minutes each to complete and includes questions about your parenting of your teenager, stresses experienced as a parent, and different feelings and behaviours that may be related to your teen’s depression, anxiety and sleep problems. Your teen will also be asked to keep a sleep diary using a smartphone app that requires him/her to keep a record of his/her sleep patterns over the course of 1-week.
    If you and/or your teenager report high levels of difficulty with your teenager’s mood or anxiety, a member of the research team will contact you and your teenager to ensure that your teenager is getting the support that they need.
  4. Once you have completed this initial assessment, a researcher will organise a mutually convenient time for you to be oriented to the program via videoconferencing (using Zoom) or phone. The orientation session will last between 45-60 minutes. We will ask you and your teen to complete the surveys again around 1 month after you enrol and completed an orientation session but before commencing the actual online program. The results from this second assessment will be used to determine the individualised parenting program that will be recommended to you.
  5. At the completion of this second assessment, you will be provided access to the online parenting program comprising of up to 9 modules. Each module will be made available to you progressively, and takes between 15-25 minutes to complete, depending on the topic and the way you choose to engage with it. Topics will cover areas of communication, autonomy granting, limit setting, conflict resolution, supportive relationships, healthy lifestyle habits including sleep, problem solving and emotional coping.
  6. You will also receive a Zoom session from a ‘TOPS-coach’ once a week until you have completed your allocated program, each call lasting up to 30-45 minutes. These calls provide you with an opportunity to raise any questions about the online modules. Your TOPS-coach will also present some supporting content relevant to the module and provide support with applying content covered in the module. You will also be asked to rate your teen’s depression, anxiety and sleep problems during the calls. This program is not designed to provide you with therapeutic support but we will encourage you to identify and connect to an appropriate service if required. Sessions with the TOPS-coach will be audio-video recorded, for ensuring quality of care and for data-collection. Annotated content presented to you may also be screen-captured so that it can be provided to you via email as a reference source.
  7. To see if the program is effective over the longer term, you and your teenager will be contacted again 4 months and 12 months after you first started the program, to complete follow-up online surveys (60 minutes each for you, 30 minutes each for your teen). Your teen will also complete a sleep diary on their sleep over the course of a week. These surveys will be delivered in the same format as the initial surveys.

All parts of this study can be completed at any time or place of convenience to you, as long as there is internet access.

Who is being asked to participate?

We are inviting families living in Australia with at least one teenager aged between 12 and 17 years (inclusive) experiencing depression or anxiety and currently receiving treatment from a mental health service provider. Families need to have regular access to the internet to participate in this research. One parent and one teenager (aged 12-17 years) per family, with proficiency in English, are invited to participate.


Source of funding
This research project has been funded by Monash University.funded by Monash University.


Monash Flyer