Parenting for Child Development: The development and preliminary pilot of a parenting intervention to reduce violence against children in Papua New Guinea

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    Abstract

    Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a low-income country experiencing high rates of family violence and child maltreatment. Child protection services are under-developed, and few tertiary-trained social workers are employed by them. A research team was commissioned to develop a parenting programme for implementation in remote provinces. After development and co-design of the programme, a pre- and post-evaluation was conducted in 10 communities to test the programme’s potential to facilitate change. Measures of harsh parenting, family well-being and parental attitudes were translated by experienced academics and administered to parents by a team of staff and students from a local university. Responses were subjected to factor analyses. A series of paired-sample t-tests was conducted to ascertain change in parents’ reported family well-being and use of harsh disciplinary practices (sample n = 159). Encouraging numbers of caregivers attended the programme in all sites. The analysis of change between pre- and post-programme scores revealed statistically significant reductions in verbal abuse and corporal punishment, and in harsh parenting overall, with reductions in partner violence and family difficulties contributing to improvements in family well-being. The evaluation indicates that with further development, this programme could be implemented as a primary prevention measure to complement child protection services. To consolidate the programme’s future implementation by building the pool of trained personnel, links with social work education should be further developed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Social Work
    Early online date15 May 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2021

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