A Qualitative Study of Mechanisms Underlying Effects of a Parenting Intervention in Rural Liberia


Journal Article

© 2017 European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI). Parenting interventions can reduce child maltreatment and improve child outcomes in high-risk settings, but little is known about mechanisms underlying effects. This study presents qualitative findings on mechanisms of change from a randomized trial of a parenting intervention in Liberia. Participants (N = 30) completed semi-structured interviews, and thematic content analysis was conducted from transcripts. Results suggest that learning about effects of violence on child development and discussing the value of empathy for children strengthened caregivers' sense of identity as nurturers and protectors. This in turn drove efforts to decrease harsh discipline. As a result, children expressed less fear, increasing opportunities for positive interactions; shared enjoyment maintained reduced harsh treatment. Caregivers also described recognizing that physical punishment was often ineffective and using new non-violent discipline skills alongside emotion regulation skills to facilitate behavior change. Participants also described reduced couples conflict and more peaceful home environments associated with increased self-identification as role models.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Giusto, A; Friis, E; Sim, AL; Chase, RM; Zayzay, JO; Green, E; Puffer, E

Published Date

  • November 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 964 - 982

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-9728

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0957-8811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1057/s41287-017-0101-8

Citation Source

  • Scopus