Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa: Findings From a Pilot Pre-Post Study
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Purpose: Violence against children increases in adolescence, but there is a research and practice gap in research-supported child abuse prevention for the adolescent years. A pilot program for low-resource settings was developed in collaboration with nongovernmental organizations, government, and academics in South Africa, using research-supported principles. Method: This study used a pre-post design to test initial effects of a 10-session parenting program with 60 participants (30 caregiver–adolescent dyads) in high-poverty rural South Africa. Areas requiring further testing and adaptation were also identified. Results: Pre-post findings show medium to large program effects in reducing child abuse and adolescent problem behavior, as well as large effects in improvements of positive parenting, and perceived parent and adolescent social support. Discussion: There is potential to reduce child abuse, improve parenting, and reduce adolescent problem behavior in rural South Africa through parenting programs. Further development, testing and longer term follow-up are required to ascertain potential for scale-up.
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