Child maltreatment is a global problem affecting both high income (HICs) and low and middle income countries (LMICs). However research has shown that children who live in the world's poorest countries and communities are more likely to suffer from abuse and neglect. There is some evidence that parenting interventions can assist in the prevention of child maltreatment, but most of this research has been conducted in HICs.
The main aim of this review was to examine the evidence from previous systematic reviews on the role of parenting programmes in the prevention of violence against children in both HICs and LMICs.
A comprehensive internet search was conducted for published and unpublished reviews. After reviewing abstracts and full texts against established criteria for inclusion in the study, 28 reviews (20 systematic reviews/meta-analyses and 8 comprehensive reviews) were used in the analyses.
The findings suggest that parenting programmes have the potential to both prevent and reduce the risk of child maltreatment. However, there is lack of good evidence from LMICs where the risk of child maltreatment is greatest.
Implications for policy and future research are discussed, especially for the LMIC context.
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