Values and Youth Care Interventions: The Case of Triple P

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  1. Marit Hopman*,
  2. Micha de Winter and
  3. Willem Koops

  1. Marit Hopman received her Ph.D. in Child and Educational Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She has a degree
    in Developmental Psychology and in Education, Socialization and Youth Policies and has worked as a social worker in youth
    care organisation. Her Ph.D. research focuses on value orientations and educational goals in youth care interventions and
    in youth policy. Currently, Marit works as a post-doc researcher at Utrecht University, with a specific focus on parenting
    support interventions. Micha de Winter is professor in Child and Educational Studies of Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
    He holds the Langeveld-Chair in education, socialisation and youth policies. His research focuses on democratic citizenship,
    youth policy and the role of civil society in child rearing. Until 2013, Micha de Winter was also a member of the Council
    for Social Development (Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling). Willem Koops is distinguished professor in the Foundations
    and History of Developmental Psychology and Education and former Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences of
    Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He is past-president of the European Society for Developmental Psychology and Editor
    of the European Journal of Developmental Psychology. Currently, his research focuses mainly on the cultural and historical
    background of thinking about children.
  1. *Correspondence to Marit Hopman, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Utrecht University,
    PO Box 80.140, 3505 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: m.hopman{at}
  • Accepted November 2011.


Currently, the child-care system is dominated by an emphasis on preventive and early interventions. In the Netherlands specifically,
the former Ministry of Youth and Family (2007–10) has incited a transition of the youth care system towards more preventive
and effective care for children and youth. With this tendency comes a strong focus on evidence-based practices. This focus
on effectiveness, however, leaves another important element of interventions largely unspoken. Youth care interventions are
also influenced by values and beliefs of its developers and of the professionals working with these interventions. Our investigation
turns the attention to these unspoken values and beliefs through the content analysis of relevant documents, interviews and
observations of such a preventive intervention, namely Triple P. The results show that, in the case of Triple P, the intervention
is not only highly individualised, but it also sends across contrasting messages of ‘free choice’ versus adjustment to and
conformation with the norms of society.

Key words

  • Interventions
  • effectiveness
  • values
  • parenting
  • Triple P

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