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Prof. Dr. Catherine L. Ward

Prof. Dr. Catherine L. Ward

Prof. Dr. Catherine L. Ward is one of the leaders of the Parenting for Lifelong Group of developers and researchers. She has been closely involved in the development of the parenting programmes for parents of children aged 2-9, and for parents and teens aged 10-17. She led the main randomized controlled trial of PLH 2-9 in South Africa (and was also involved in the pilot trial that formed the basis of Jamie Lachman’s D.Phil.), and assisted with the South African trial of PLH 10-17. In other work in South Africa, she is carrying out a proof of concept test that seeks to ask whether an intervention can move parenting in a whole community away from the harsh and inconsistent towards the positive, and thus improve children’s internalizing and externalizing outcomes; the intervention delivers all four PLH programmes, as well as a community development initiative. Currently, PLH 2-9 is being adapted for trials in the Philippines and Thailand. These trials in South-East Asia will take place in markedly different delivery systems, and thus have the possibility of informing effective ways to take such a programme to scale. Recently, with colleagues from the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention and the University of Cape Town, she completed the first national study of child maltreatment, and children’s associated mental health problems, in South Africa, providing the first clear South African data on the burden of child maltreatment.

WP: 2, 3, 6
Organization: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Relevant publications:
  1. Cluver, L.; Meinck, F., Shenderovich, Y., Ward, C.L., Herrero Romero, R., Redfern, A., Lombard, C., Doubt, J., Steinert, J., Cantanho, R., Wittesaele, C., De Stone, S., Salah, N., Mpimilashe, P., Lachman, J., Loening, J., Gardner, F., Blanc, D., Nocuza, M., & Lechowicz, M. (2016). A parenting programme to prevent abuse of adolescents in South Africa: A study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials, 17: 328. doi: 10.1186/s13063-016-1452-8
  2. Lachman, J.M., Kelly, J., Cluver, L., Ward, C.L., Hutchings, J., & Gardner, F. (2016). Process evaluation of a parenting program for low-income families in South Africa. Research on Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731516645665
  3. Lachman, J.M., Sherr, L.T.S., Cluver, L., Ward, C.L., Hutchings, J., & Gardner, F. (2015). Integrating evidence and context to develop a parenting program for low-income families in South Africa. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(7): 2337-2352. doi: 10.1007/s10826-016-0389-6.
  4. Ward, C.L., Sanders, M.R., Gardner, F., Mikton, C., & Dawes, A. (2016). Preventing child maltreatment in low- and middle-income countries: What is needed to build the evidence base for effective implementation of parent support programmes? Child Abuse and Neglect, 54, 97-107. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.11.002
  5. Ward, C.L., Gould, C., Kelly, J.F., & Mauff, K. (2015.) Spare the rod and save the child: Assessing the impact of parenting on child behaviour and mental health. South African Crime Quarterly, 51, 9-22.