Parenting for Lifelong Health: A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa

The objective of this study was to assess the impact of ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health: Sinovuyo Teen’, a parenting programme for adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries, on abuse and parenting practices. The study used a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial approach with 552 families reporting conflict with their adolescents (aged 10–18) across 40 villages/urban sites (clusters) in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa.

Twenty intervention clusters received a 14-session parent and adolescent programme delivered by trained community members. Twenty control clusters received a hygiene and hand-washing promotion programme. At 5–9 months postintervention, the intervention was associated with lower abuse, corporal punishment, and poor supervision and improved positive and involved parenting. There were no observable improvements in neglect, inconsistent discipline, adolescent report of abuse or corporal punishment. Secondary outcomes showed reductions in caregiver corporal punishment endorsement, mental health problems, parenting stress, substance use and increased social support. Intervention adolescents reported no differences in mental health, behaviour or community violence, but had lower substance use. Intervention families had improved economic welfare, financial management and more violence avoidance planning. No adverse effects were detected.

This parenting programme shows promise for reducing violence, improving parenting and family functioning in low-resource settings.

This set contains both the study report and an associated policy brief. 

Published 2018-11-14