Dr Inge Wessels

inge wessels

Inge Wessels is a Senior Research Project Manager in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Her work has largely been in the area of parenting interventions within low-resource settings. She has been involved in the development and testing of the Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) interventions for young children and teens. These programmes form part of the PLH suite of interventions, which has been developed through a collaboration between WHO, UNICEF as well as various universities and non-profit partners.

She completed her PhD in 2017 through the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral work, which was nested within a randomised controlled trial of PLH for Young Children in South Africa, explored factors that influenced parental engagement in the intervention. She is currently working on two projects:

  • PLH Scale-Up of Parenting Evaluation Research: A mixed-methods study on PLH implementation and scale-up in several low- and middle-income countries.
  • PLH Digital: The development and testing via randomised trial of an open access and evidence-based family strengthening app for parents and their adolescents.

Inge holds an Honorary Research Affiliateship at the University of Cape Town.


Selected publications:

Ward, C. L., Wessels, I. M., Lachman, J. M., Hutchings, J., Cluver, L. D., Kassanjee, R., ... & Gardner, F. (2019). Parenting for Lifelong Health for young children: a randomized controlled trial of a parenting program in South Africa to prevent harsh parenting and child conduct problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Lachman, J. M., Cluver, L. D., Ward, C. L., Hutchings, J., Mlotshwa, S., Wessels, I., & Gardner, F. (2017). Randomized controlled trial of a parenting program to reduce the risk of child maltreatment in South Africa. Child Abuse & Neglect, 72, 338-351.

Wessels I., & Ward, C. L. (2016). Battered women and parenting: Acceptability of an evidence-based parenting programme to women in shelters. Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 28, 21-31.

Wessels, I., Lester, S., & Ward, C. (2016). Engagement in parenting programmes: Exploring facilitators of and barriers to engagement. Institute for Security Studies Policy Brief #82.

Wessels, I., & Ward, C. L.  (2015).  A ‘best buy’ for violence prevention: Evaluating parenting skills programmes. South African Crime Quarterly, 54, 17-28. 

Wessels, I., Mikton, C., Ward, C. L., Kilbane, T., Alves, R., Campello, G., Dubowitz, H., Hutchings, J., Jones, L., & Lynch, M. (2013).  Preventing violence: Evaluating outcomes of parenting programmes. Geneva: WHO.

Ward, C. L., & Wessels, I. (2013).  Rising to the challenge: Towards effective parenting programmes.  In Berry, L., Biersteker, L., Dawes, A., Lake, L., & Smith, C. (Eds)., South African Child Gauge 2013.  Cape Town: Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.

Inge on Google Scholar