Feasibility of offering a 6-week parenting program for mothers of pre-school children : a randomized control trial in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Child maltreatment is becoming a major public health issue in Pakistan. Parent education programs are reported as being effective in reducing child maltreatment worldwide. In Pakistan, even though health care providers deal with issues of child maltreatment frequently, there is a dearth of published studies on the effectiveness of parent education interventions to reduce child maltreatment. Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of offering a 6-week parenting program for mothers of pre-school children. The secondary objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a parenting program in improving the parenting skills of mothers of pre-school children of a selected urban community. Methods: Following a randomized control trial, the two settings were each categorized in as the intervention site and as the control site, through simple random sampling, to avoid contamination of intervention. This RCT was conducted on 50 mothers of preschool children (2-5 years) who visited the family health centers (FHCs) of Aga Khan Health Services, Karachi, Pakistan, for routine health checkups and vaccination of their children. In both the intervention and the control group equal number (25 in each group) of mothers participated in the study. Mothers in the intervention group were taught about positive parenting skills and mothers in the control group were provided knowledge about routine child care in one hour weekly sessions for six successive weeks. Mothers' attendance record was maintained throughout the sessions. A Parenting Scale (PS) was administered to both groups of mothers before implementing the parenting program, as pre-test, and two weeks after the completion of the program, as post-test. Results: According to the findings of this study, the high participation (87.71%) and low refusal (12.28%) rates, the acceptability of the intervention by mothers, and successful completion of the parenting program confirm the feasibility of the 6-week parenting program. Moreover, mothers in the intervention group reported significant reduction in the use of dysfunctional parenting strategies; after the intervention, the group's score for Laxness subscale decreased by 2.87 points (t=20.98; p=<0.001), and the group's score for overactive subscale, decreased by 1.89 points (t=12.291; p=<0.001). Conclusion The study findings recommend that parenting programs need to be implemented as a primary prevention strategy at primary health care centers and FHCs to improve the mother-child relationship, and reduce child maltreatment. Considering the limitations of the study, the present study also identified the need for further research that targets the fathers and grandparents. Moreover, to increase generalizability, further research needs to be conducted on different sociodemographic population as well.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library