Evaluation of Follow-Up Effects of the International Child Development Programme on Caregivers in Mozambique


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Abstract

Parenting programs have been used to good effect in many settings, yet few are systematically introduced and evaluated in developing countries. This study explores the relative long-term effect of participation in the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) in a group of caregivers in Mozambique. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare caregivers who had completed an ICDP course (n = 75) with a sociogeographically matched comparison group (n = 62) who had not followed any parenting program. Both groups completed a questionnaire about parenting, attitudes toward the child and the child's behavior, self-efficacy, life quality, and mental health. The ICDP group reported better parenting skills, fewer conduct problems in their children, and better child adjustment than the comparison group, as well as a shift in physical punishment away from hitting. The ICDP group had higher self-efficacy scores, better health and life quality, and lower scores on mental health difficulties. The follow-up differences between caregivers who had and had not attended the ICDP course indicate that course attendance may result in observable benefits in parenting and mental health scores. The data are cross-sectional and the caregivers were interviewed postintervention only, and more research is therefore needed.

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