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What affects attendance and engagement in a parenting program in South Africa?

Shenderovich, Yulia ORCID:, Eisner, Manuel, Cluver, Lucie, Doubt, Jenny, Berezin, McKenzie, Majokweni, Sybil and Murray, Aja Louise 2018. What affects attendance and engagement in a parenting program in South Africa? Prevention Science 19 (7) , pp. 977-986. 10.1007/s11121-018-0941-2

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Parenting programs are a promising approach to improving family well-being. For families to benefit, programs need to be able to engage families actively in the interventions. Studies in high-income countries show varying results regarding whether more disadvantaged families are equally engaged in parenting interventions. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), almost nothing is known about the patterns of participation in parent training. This paper examines group session attendance and engagement data from 270 high-risk families enrolled in the intervention arm of a cluster-randomized controlled trial in South Africa. The trial evaluated a 14-week parenting intervention aiming to improve parenting and reduce maltreatment by caregivers. The intervention was delivered in 20 groups, one per study cluster, with 8 to 16 families each. Overall, caregivers attended 50% of group sessions and children, 64%. Using linear multilevel models with Kenward-Roger correction, we examined child and caregiver baseline characteristics as predictors of their attendance and engagement in the group sessions. Variables examined as predictors included measures of economic, educational, and social and health barriers and resources, as well as family problems and sociodemographic characteristics. Overall, the study yielded no evidence that the level of stressors, such as poverty, was related to attendance and engagement. Notably, children from overcrowded households attended on average 1.2 more sessions than their peers. Our findings suggest it is possible to engage highly disadvantaged families that face multiple challenges in parenting interventions in LMICs. However, some barriers such as scheduling, and alcohol and substance use, remain relevant.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1389-4986
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 April 2021
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 21:21

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