Review Article

Parents of children with disabilities: A systematic review of parenting interventions and self-efficacy

Ameer S.J. Hohlfeld, Michal Harty, Mark E. Engel
African Journal of Disability | Vol 7 | a437 | DOI: | © 2018 Ameer S.J. Hohlfeld, Michal Harty, Mark E. Engel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 2017 | Published: 17 October 2018

About the author(s)

Ameer S.J. Hohlfeld, Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Michal Harty, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mark E. Engel, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Background: An increasing body of empirical evidence suggests that early intervention has positive outcomes for parents of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Parental self-efficacy has been used as an outcome measure in some empirical studies; however, there is a lack of evidence of the impact of parent training programmes on parenting self-efficacy beliefs.

Objectives: This systematic review sought to assess the effectiveness of parenting interventions to increase parental self-efficacy levels in parents of young children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Method: We conducted a broad literature search, which included grey literature, such as dissertations and unpublished conference presentations, to identify all relevant prospective studies reporting on our study objective. Articles were selected for inclusion using predefined criteria and data were extracted onto a purposely designed data extraction form. Twenty-five articles met our search criteria. We extracted parenting self-efficacy scores before, and on, completion of parenting interventions and performed a meta-analysis using standardised mean difference. We also conducted a risk of bias assessment for all the included studies.

Results: Parent training programmes resulted in a statistically significant increase in parental self-efficacy levels (standardised mean difference, 0.60 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.38–0.83]; I2, 74%) relative to baseline measurements. Parents of children younger than 5 years demonstrated the highest increase in levels of parental self-efficacy after parenting interventions. Furthermore, this review showed that psychologists and other healthcare practitioners are successfully able to implement training programmes that enhance parenting self-efficacy.

Conclusion: Parent training programmes are effective in increasing parental self-efficacy in parents of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.


Child; Neurodevelopmental Disabilities; Parents; Parenting interventions; Self-efficacy; Systematic Review


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Crossref Citations

1. Six‐Month Follow‐up of the Families on Track Intervention Pilot Trial for Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Their Families
Christie L. M. Petrenko, Elizabeth M. Demeusy, Michelle E. Alto
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research  vol: 43  issue: 10  first page: 2242  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1111/acer.14180