Individual and Group Based Parenting Programmes for Improving Psychosocial Outcomes for Teenage Parents and Their Children: A Systematic Review

Additional Info

  • Authors: Jane Barlow, Nadja Smailagic, Cathy Bennett, Nick Huband, Hannah Jones, Esther Coren
  • Published Date: 2011-05-03
  • Coordinating groups: Social Welfare
  • Type of document: Review, Previous version
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue nr: 2
  • Category Image: Category Image

Adolescent parents face a range of problems. They are often from very deprived backgrounds; they can experience a range of mental health problems and a lack of social support; they often lack knowledge about child development and effective parenting skills, and they have developmental needs of their own. Possibly for these reasons, the children of teenage parents often have poor outcomes.
A range of interventions are being used to promote the well-being of teenage parents and their children. Parenting programmes have been found to be effective in improving psychosocial health in parents more generally (including reducing anxiety and depression, and improving self-esteem), alongside a range of developmental outcomes for children. This review therefore investigated the impact of parenting programmes aimed specifically at teenage parents on outcomes for both them and their children. The findings are based on eight studies measuring a variety of outcomes, using a range of standardised measures. It was possible to combine results (meta-analysis) for nine comparisons. Results from four of these meta-analyses suggest that parenting programmes may be effective in improving parent responsiveness to the child, and parent-child interaction, both post-intervention and at follow-up. Infant responsiveness to the mother also showed improvement at follow-up. The results of the other five meta-analyses we carried out were inconclusive.
Further rigorous research is needed that provides both short- and long-term follow-up of the children of teenage parents, and that assesses the benefits of parenting programmes for young fathers as well as young mothers.
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