This study is the one of the first to evaluate the preliminary effects of a parenting program to reduce the risk of child maltreatment using a randomized controlled trial. Also unique to this study is the extreme vulnerability of the 68 parent-child dyads (children ages 3-8) with high percentages reporting unemployment, hunger and poor health status, including HIV. Participant retention in the intervention, the Sinovuyo Caring Families Program for Young Children, was also high. While the results indicated moderate effects on improving positive parenting, but the results on reducing harsh punishment and positive child behavior were mixed and inconclusive. Authors recommend strengthening the program components related to child behavior management and increasing the sample size to sufficiently power the study to determine program effectiveness.
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