Parenting for Lifelong Health – the Sinovuyo Teen Program

sinovuyo teen

Funded by: The European Research Council (ERC), UNICEF Innocenti Office of Research, the Leverhulme Trust, the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account and the John Fell Fund. 

Project outline

Parenting for Lifelong Health is a collaboration of academics, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and NGOs to develop and test non-commercialised parenting programmes for low and middle income countries.

The ‘Sinovuyo Teen Program’ is 14 sessions attended by parents and their adolescents, developed by Oxford University, Clowns Without Borders South Africa and the University of Cape Town. It is free to use, can be led by local community members, and can be held in any location - community halls, churches or under a tree. The program has undergone three adaptation stages, been tested in two pilot studies (n=300 participants), and now has results from a large-scale cluster randomised controlled trial in South Africa’s Eastern Cape (n=1100 participants, 40 urban and rural sites, completed 2017). Findings show reductions in child abuse, increases in involved parenting, improvements in mental health, reductions in substance use and improvements in family budgeting and economic outcomes, using both child and caregiver reports. With UNICEF, we also conducted qualitative research that identified important considerations for culture and scale-up. 

The Sinovuyo Teen program has now been translated into a suite of Parenting for Lifelong Health manuals for use by facilitators and parents of young children and teenagers. These manuals have now been translated and adapted for implementation in seven countries in Africa. In 2017, 152,000 families will have participated in the programme. The manuals are available on the World Health Organisation website. This research is of immediate necessity in promoting child safety and development in low and middle income settings. It also goes beyond the state of the art in innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to the active engagement of science with policy and civil society.

  1. Lucie D Cluver, Franziska Meinck, Janina I Steinert, Yulia Shenderovich, Jenny Doubt et al (2018), Parenting for Lifelong Health: a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa, BMJ Global Health Jan 2018, 3 (1) e000539; DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000539
  2. Sherr, L, Macedo, A, Tomlinson, M, Skeen, S, Cluver, L (2017) Could cash and good parenting affect child cognitive development? A cross-sectional study in South Africa and Malawi. BMC Pediatrics. 17: 123
  3. Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Yakubovich, A, Doubt, J, et al (2016). Reducing child abuse amongst adolescents in low- and middle-income countries: A pre-post trial in South Africa. BMC Public Health. 13;16(1):567.
  4. Steinert, J, Cluver, L, Melendez-Torrez, G, Vollmer, S (2016) One size fits all? The validity of a composite poverty index across urban and rural households in South Africa. Social Indicators Research. doi:10.1007/s11205-016-1540-x
  5. Cluver, L, Lachman, Jb, Ward, C.L., Gardner, F, Peterson T, Hutchings, J, Mikton, C, Meinck, Fa Tsoanyane, S, (2016) Development of a parenting support programme to prevent abuse of adolescents in South Africa: findings from a pilot pre-post study. Research on Social Work Practice. 10.1177/1049731516628647
  6. Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Shenderovich, Y, Ward, C, Herrero Romero, R, Redfern, A, Lombard, C, Doubt, J, Steinert, J, Catanho, R, Wittesaele, C, De Stone, S, Salah, N, Mpimpilashe, P, Lachman, J, Loening, H, Gardner, F, Blanc, D, Nocuza, M, Lechowicz, M (2016). A parenting programme to prevent abuse of adolescents in South Africa: a study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials. 17. 328. 
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