Positive parenting in South Africa: why supporting families is key to development and violence prevention

This policy brief explores the often-overlooked connections between healthy parent-child relationships, violence prevention and South Africa's national development.

Preventing and reducing violence by supporting parents is critical to national development. This policy brief explains how positive parenting relates to violence prevention and national development, and why the national implementation of evidence-based programmes to support positive parenting is both necessary and achievable.

About the authors

Chandré Gould is a senior research fellow in the Crime and Justice division of the institute for security studies and editor of the journal South African Crime Quarterly. She is a lead researcher in the study to document and analyse the life histories of repeat violent offenders. Chandre Gould and Catherine Ward are currently assisting a provincial government to develop a plan to take evidence-based parenting programmes to scale at provincial level.

Catherine L Ward is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, and also works with the UCT safety and Violence Initiative. Her research interests are in violence prevention from the perspective of children’s development, and particularly in public health approaches to this – in developing evidence-based approaches to violence prevention that have a wide reach and are effective in improving children’s development and reducing their likelihood of becoming aggressive.

Development partners
This policy brief was made possible with the support of the Open Society Foundation. The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
Related content