The Effect of Education on the Attitude and Child Abuse Behaviors of Mothers with 3-6 Year Old Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study

Document Type: Original article


1 Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing,School of Nursing, Social Determinants of Health Research Centre,Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran

2 Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing, Social Development & Health Promotion Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran

3 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran

4 Student Research Committee, Nursing and Midwifery School, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran


Background: Child abuse is a kind of domestic violence of children under the age of 18 which potentially or actually damages all aspects of their health. This study was conducted to determine the effect of education based on growth and development with home-visiting follow up on the mothers’ attitude and child abuse with 3-6-year-old children.Methods: This controlled trial study was carried out in two rural community health centers in Khorasan Razavi province in Iran, during April 2016 to Jun 2017 on 64 abusive mothers of 3-6-year-old children.  The data collection tools included the 32-item adult adolescent parenting inventory (AAPI) and the questionnaire of child abuse.  By using multi-stage random sampling, the mothers referring to two health centers were assigned to the experimental (N=32) and control groups (N=32). The intervention group received parenting educational interventions based on child growth and development and after being followed up for eight weeks through home-visits. The data were analyzed in SPSS-16, using descriptive statistics, analytical tests including the Chi-square, independent t-test, and Mc Nemars test.Results: After the intervention, the overall score of parenting attitudes was found to be significantly increased (P<0.001), and the prevalence of most abusive behaviors towards children was significantly reduced (P<0.05) in the intervention group compared to the control group.Conclusion: According to the results, this educational program was found to be significantly more effective in improving parenting attitudes and preventing child abuse compared to routine childcare programs in health centers.Trial Registration Number: IRCT2016052628094N1