Combining parenting and economic strengthening programmes to reduce violence against children: a cluster randomised controlled trial with predominantly male caregivers in rural Tanzania caregivers

Lachman, J. M. , Wamoyi, J., Spreckelsen, T. F. , Wight, D. , Maganga, J. and Gardner, F. (2020) Combining parenting and economic strengthening programmes to reduce violence against children: a cluster randomised controlled trial with predominantly male caregivers in rural Tanzania caregivers. BMJ Global Health, 5, e002349. (doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002349) (PMID:32641291) (PMCID:PMC7348478)

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Abstract

Introduction: Parenting programmes may reduce risk of violence against children and improve child wellbeing. However, additional economic support may be necessary in highly-deprived rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, delivering programmes within farmer groups may increase male caregiver recruitment and engagement. Methods: A parallel cluster randomised controlled trial examined the combined and separate effects of parenting and economic strengthening programmes on reducing violence against children ages 0 to 18 years in farming communities in Tanzania (N=248 families; 63% male caregivers). Eight villages were randomly assigned to four conditions (2:2:2:2): 1) 12-session parenting programme (N=60); 2) agribusiness training (N=56); 3) parenting and agribusiness combined (N=72); 4) control (N=60). Parent-report, child-report, and early childhood observation assessments were conducted at baseline, mid-treatment, and post-treatment. Primary outcomes were child maltreatment and parenting behaviour. Secondary outcomes included corporal punishment endorsement, parenting stress, parent/child depression, child behaviour, economic wellbeing, and child development (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02633319). Results: At post-treatment, parents and children receiving the combined interventions reported less maltreatment (parents: IRR=0.40, 95%CI [0.24,0.65]; children: IRR=0.40, 95%CI [0.17,0.92]). Parents reported reduced endorsement of corporal punishment (Dw=-0.43, 95%CI [-0.79,0.07]) and fewer child behaviour problems (Dw=-0.41, 95%CI [-0.77,-0.05]). Parents in parenting-only villages reported less abuse (IRR=0.36, 95%CI [0.21,0.63]) and fewer child behaviour problems (Dw=-0.47, 95%CI [-0.84,-0.11]). Parents in agribusiness-only villages reported fewer child behaviour problems (Dw=-0.43, 95%CI [-0.77,-0.08]) and greater household wealth (Dw=0.57, 95%CI [0.08,1.06]). However, children in agribusiness-only villages reported increased physical abuse (IRR=2.26, 95%CI [1.00,5.12]) and less positive parenting (Dw=-0.50, 95%CI [-0.91,-0.10]). There were no other adverse effects. Conclusion: Parent training may be the active ingredient in reducing maltreatment in farmer groups with majority male caregivers, while agribusiness training programmes may have unintended negative consequences on children when delivered alone. Locating parenting support in existing farmer groups can engage a much higher proportions of fathers than stand-alone programmes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wight, Professor Danny and Spreckelsen, Dr Thees and Lachman, Dr Jamie
Authors: Lachman, J. M., Wamoyi, J., Spreckelsen, T. F., Wight, D., Maganga, J., and Gardner, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:BMJ Global Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2059-7908
ISSN (Online):2059-7908
Published Online:08 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Global Health 5:e002349
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190877Quinquennial Core FundsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14HW - MRC/CSO SPHSU Support Services
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU14