Objective: Parenting for Lifelong Health-Philippines examined the effectiveness of an evidence-based parenting program on reducing risks of violence against children when delivered as part of an existing conditional cash transfer system to low-income families with children aged 2 to 6 in Metro Manila, Philippines.
Study Population and Methods: Low-income families were randomly assigned on a 1:1 ratio to either a 12-session, bi-weekly, group-based parenting program or a treatment-as-usual control group receiving family development services (N = 120). Participation in either group was part of the conditionality for receiving cash grants from the Philippine government. The primary outcome was frequency of child maltreatment. Proximal outcomes included positive parenting behavior, dysfunctional parenting, and parental attitudes supporting corporal punishment. Secondary outcomes included child behavior problems, communication skills and socio-emotional development; parental depression, wellbeing, intimate partner violence, marital satisfaction, and hours of sleep. All outcomes were parent-reported. Baseline assessments were conducted in July 2017 with 1-month post-intervention assessments in January 2018 and 9-month follow-up in October 2018.
Results: Results from one-month post-intervention assessments indicated moderate intervention effects for reduced overall child maltreatment (d = -0.68, 95% CI -1.05, -0.32), physical abuse (d = -0.54, 95% CI -0.90, -0.17), and emotional abuse (d = -0.64, 95% CI -1.00, -0.27), as well as small effects for reduced neglect (d = -0.38, 95% CI -0.74, -0.02), in comparison to controls. There were also significant intervention effects for reduced dysfunctional parenting, parental inefficacy, child intensity behavior problems, and daily child problem behavior, as well as for increased parental efficacy and daily positive parenting. Results from 11-month follow-up assessments will be available in January 2019. Trial registered on ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03205449.