Implementation and Evaluation of a Parenting Program to Prevent Child Maltreatment in Suriname
The prevention of child maltreatment has become a global health concern because child maltreatment is a violation of children’s rights. Across the world, a variety of parenting programs have been developed to address this problem. However, no such parenting program currently exists in Suriname. This pilot study aimed to implement Lobi Mi Pikin (LMP) parenting program in Suriname and to evaluate its effects on corporal punishment (CP) and child behavioral problems. Parents–caregivers (N = 70) of children (ages 3–12 years) with externalizing behavioral problems participated in a protocoled parenting program. The child’s behavioral problems and the parenting style of the parent–caregiver were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Parental Behavior Scale, pretreatment and posttreatment. Five-week follow-up measures revealed significant positive effects of LMP on all outcome measures. Follow-up comparisons demonstrated (a) a large reduction of total child difficulties and conduct problems, (b) a moderate reduction of hyperactivity and emotional problems, (c) a moderate to large increase in the self-reported positive behavior of the parent, and (d) a small decrease in the use of CP. This study provides preliminary evidence that LMP may be an effective model of parent training in Suriname. Moreover, it can help guide efforts to reduce the use of CP and encourage positive parenting, thereby preventing child maltreatment.