Strong Families: A new family skills training programme for challenged and humanitarian settings: a single-arm intervention tested in Afghanistan [post]

2019 unpublished
Children living in challenged humanitarian settings (rural/underserved areas, displaced, refugees, conflict/post conflict) are at greater risk of mental health difficulties or behavioural problems, with caregivers acting as their main protective factors. While many family skills programmes exist, very few were developed for, or piloted in, low resource settings (settings with limited infrastructure). We designed the brief and light Strong Families (SF) programme, consisting of 5 hours contact
more » ... me over 3 weeks. We conducted a pilot study aiming to test the feasibility of implementation, and preliminary effectiveness of SF, in improving child behaviour and family functioning in Afghanistan. Methods We recruited female caregivers and children aged 8-12 years through schools and drug treatment centres and enrolled them in the SF programme. Demographic data, emotional and behavioural difficulties of children and parental skills and family adjustment measures were collected from caregivers before, 2 and 6 weeks after the intervention. Outcome was assessed through the SDQ (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), assessing children's behavioural, emotional, and social issues, and PAFAS (Parenting and Family Adjustment Scales), measuring parenting practices and family functioning. Results We enrolled 72 families in the programme with a 93.1% retention rate (n=67) for data collection 6 weeks post intervention. Mean age of caregivers was 36.1 years, they had 3.8 children on average and 91.7% of them had experienced war/armed conflict in their past. The average total difficulty score of the SDQ (ranging from 0 to 40, with scores above 16 being indicative of high problems) of the 72 children reduced significantly, from 17.8 at pre-test to 12.9 at post-test and
doi:10.21203/rs.2.12710/v3 fatcat:6pesahyg55aevhwse3eankpfci