Optimising Parenting Interventions

Project outline


Optimising Parenting Interventions through Methodological and Programmatic Innovation to Reduce the Risk of Child Maltreatment and Improve Child Wellbeing in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This project aims to support an innovative and interdisciplinary programme of research on the optimisation of parenting interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Parenting interventions are effective in reducing the risk of child maltreatment and improving child wellbeing, with promising evidence emerging from LMIC.

However, despite increasing calls for the dissemination of interventions that combine violence prevention and early childhood development in LMIC, parenting interventions delivered in low resource settings face a number of constraints including cost, time, and local capacity. It is therefore important to optimise parenting interventions by testing which components are most effective, cost efficient, and scalable.

This project includes three linked studies that together will provide a strong foundation for a large-scale optimisation experiment. First, it will update a recent systematic review of parenting interventions in LMIC to include analysis of effective components that reduce harsh parenting, improve positive parenting, and improve early childhood development outcomes. Second, it will convene an interdisciplinary workshop to identify the essential components necessary to optimise the effectiveness and scalability of parenting interventions in LMIC. Third, it will test the feasibility of an optimisation study using a factorial experiment design in South Africa. As a result, this study is innovative and timely with potential impacts in science, policy, and practice, including the fields of empirical research methodology, implementation science, global public health, violence prevention, and child development and wellbeing.