Parenting interventions for refugees and forcibly displaced families: A systematic review

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Abstract

Globally, an estimated 79.5 million individuals have been displaced, nearly 40% of whom are children. Parenting interventions may have the potential to improve outcomes for displaced families. To investigate this, we conducted a systematic review to identify the types of caregiver or parenting interventions that have been evaluated among displaced families, to assess their efficacy across a range of contexts, and to describe their cultural and contextual adaptations. The review followed PRISMA guidelines. At stage one, all articles describing caregiver/parenting interventions for forcibly displaced families were included to provide a scoping review of the state of the literature. At stage two, only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental designs were included, allowing for quantitative analysis of program effects. A total of 30 articles (24 studies) were identified in stage one. 95.8% of these articles were published in the past 10 years. Of these, 14 articles (10 studies) used an RCT or quasi-experimental design to assess program efficacy or effectiveness. Relative to control groups, those assigned to caregiving programs showed significant, beneficial effects across the domains of parenting behaviors and attitudes, child psychosocial and developmental outcomes, and parent mental health. Cultural adaptations and recruitment and engagement strategies are described. The evidence base for caregiving programs for displaced families has expanded in recent years but remains limited. Caregiving/parenting programs show promise for reducing the negative effects of forced displacement on families, but future studies are needed to understand which programs show the greatest potential for scalability.

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Relevant Evidence Summaries

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: 

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About this study

AGE: Multiple Age Groups

DIRECTION OF EVIDENCE: Inconclusive or mixed impact

FULL TEXT AVAILABILITY: Free

GENDER: All

HOST COUNTRY: Multiple countries

HOST COUNTRY INCOME: Both

INTERVENTION DURATION: Various

INTERVENTION: Parenting intervention

OUTCOME AREA: General Distress Reduction

POPULATION: Refugees

REGION OF ORIGIN OF PARTICIPANT(S): Multiple Regions

STRENGTH OF EVIDENCE: Strong

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2022

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