Physical abuse and neglect of children are significant problems and changing parenting practices may be an important means of addressing them. This review examines the extent to which parenting programmes (relatively brief and structured interventions that are aimed at changing parenting practices) are effective in treating physically abusive or neglectful parenting. A total of seven studies of mixed quality were included in the review. The findings show that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of parenting programmes to reduce physical abuse or neglect (i.e. using objective assessments of abuse such as reports of child abuse; children on the children protection register etc). There is, however, limited evidence to show that some parenting programmes may be effective in improving some outcomes that are associated with physically abusive parenting. There is an urgent need for further rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of parenting programmes that are specifically designed to treat physical abuse and neglect, either independently or as part of broader packages of care.
"Thus, we argue that parenting interventions are vital for preventing violence both against and by children, and our review focuses on parenting for both intersecting purposes. The substantial literature on parenting interventions, with many high-quality trials and systematic reviews (Barlow et al. 2006; Furlong et al. 2012; Piquero et al. 2008), comes from high-income countries, and includes many studies that target low-income families and diverse cultural groups. The evidence suggests that effective parenting interventions are potentially adaptable and applicable across cultures, countries and income groups (Kumpfer et al. 2008; Leung et al. 2003; Martinez and Eddy 2005; Matsumoto et al. 2010; Reid et al. 2001). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Family and youth violence are increasingly recognized as key public health issues in developing countries. Parenting interventions form an important evidence-based strategy for preventing violence, both against and by children, yet most rigorous trials of parenting interventions have been conducted in high-income countries, with far fewer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This systematic review, conducted in line with Cochrane Handbook guidelines, investigated the effectiveness of parenting interventions for reducing harsh/abusive parenting, increasing positive parenting practices, and improving parent-child relationships in LMICs. Attitudes and knowledge were examined as secondary outcomes. A range of databases were systematically searched, and randomized trials included. High heterogeneity precluded meta-analysis, but characteristics of included studies were described according to type of delivery mode and outcome. Twelve studies with 1580 parents in nine countries reported results favoring intervention on a range of parenting measures. The validity of results for most studies is unclear due to substantial or unclear risks of bias. However, findings from the two largest, highest-quality trials suggest parenting interventions may be feasible and effective in improving parent-child interaction and parental knowledge in relation to child development in LMICs, and therefore may be instrumental in addressing prevention of child maltreatment in these settings. Given the well-established evidence base for parenting interventions in high-income countries, and increasingly good evidence for their applicability across cultures and countries, there is now an urgent need for more rigorously evaluated and reported studies, focusing on youth outcomes as well as parenting, adapted for contexts of considerable resource constraints.
"The broad term 'child abuse' was used, in combination with specifi c limits in each database designed to identify RCTs (and clinical trials generally ). In addition, the reference lists of recent systematic reviews were searched to identify additional RCTs (Allin et al., 2005; Barlow et al., 2006; Lundahl et al., 2006; MacLeod and Nelson, 2000). Full details of all search strategies are available from the authors. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the significant financial and human resources invested in child protection services (CPS), it is unknown whether these services are effective in preventing recurrence of child physical abuse and neglect. This paper reviews available studies evaluating the effectiveness of these interventions and identifies methodological limitations and factors that may contribute to these limitations. We searched databases to identify randomised controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals in the past five decades that evaluated interventions to reduce recurrence of physical abuse and neglect. We outlined ten methodological standards that are important for rigorous testing of psychosocial interventions and applied them in critically appraising identified studies. Thirteen randomised controlled trials were reviewed. This review identified methodological limitations (e.g. small sample size, lack of standardisations, contamination) that made it difficult to draw reliable conclusions as to the effectiveness of interventions. Field-specific factors that contributed to methodological limitations (e.g. heterogeneity of sample, multiple family problems, psychosocial nature of interventions) were identified and recommendations were provided for improvement. It was concluded that it is possible to implement high-quality trials that are ethical and feasible in the child welfare field.
"For example, none of the studies described the approach to conceal allocation, nor did they use an intention-to-treat analysis. Although a detailed discussion of the studies' findings is beyond the scope of this article, the conclusions of the systematic review can be summarized as follows (Barlow et al. 2006): Wolfe, Sandler, and Kaufman (1981) and Kolko (1996) "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Child maltreatment is associated with a huge burden of suffering, yet there are serious gaps in knowledge about its epidemiology and approaches to intervention. This article describes the development of a proposed national research framework in child maltreatment, as requested by the Department of Justice, Canada, based on (1) a review of the literature, (2) consultation with experts, and (3) application of evaluation criteria for considering research priorities. The article identifies gaps in knowledge about child maltreatment in Canada and proposes a research agenda to make evidence-based policy decisions more likely. Although this work was driven by gaps in Canada's knowledge about child maltreatment, the international scope of the review and consultation process could make the findings useful to broader research and policy audiences.
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