Morello L, Caputi M, Scaini S, Forresi B. (2022). Parenting Programs to Reduce Recurrence of Child Maltreatment in the Family Environment: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct 14;19(20):13283.


Physical maltreatment is a public health issue affecting millions of children in their lifetime, with a high risk of recurrency. Although there are several parenting programs (PPs) available, existing reviews on their effectiveness in preventing physical abuse recurrences have many limitations. The current systematic review aims at (1) providing a summary of evidence on the effectiveness of behavioral/cognitive–behavioral PPs in preventing physical re-abuse; (2) extending previous reviews by including reduction of child maltreatment recurrence as the main outcome but also focusing on the effect of PPs on maltreatment risk, parent and child psychopathology, and parent–child relationship; and (3) including only RCT with at least one follow-up. A PRISMA-compliant systematic review was performed in the EBSCOhost and PUBMED databases. In total, 93 articles were identified, of which 8 were included in the review. Among them, three reported a significant reduction in recidivism rates and maltreatment risk, and five improvements in parent–child relationships. Although limitations arise from methodological heterogeneity across studies, there is some evidence that some brief and manualized cognitive behavioral PPs can reduce the recurrence of child physical maltreatment and improve parent–child relationships. More studies are needed to give further support to PP effectiveness in protecting children from recurrent maltreatment.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph192013283