Scaling up parenting interventions is critical for attaining the sustainable development goals

Matthew R. Sanders, Gauri Divan, Meghna Singhal, Karen M. T. Turner, Richard Velleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (SciVal)


Of all the potentially modifiable influences affecting children’s development and mental health across the life course, none is more important than the quality of parenting and family life. In this position paper, we argue that parenting is fundamentally linked to the development of life skills that children need in order to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We discuss key principles that should inform the development of a global research and implementation agenda related to scaling up evidence-based parenting support programs. Research over the past 50 years has shown that parenting support programs of varied intensity and delivery modality can improve a wide range of developmental, emotional, behavioral and health outcomes for parents and their children. Such findings have been replicated across culturally and socioeconomically diverse samples, albeit primarily in studies from Western countries. We highlight the evidence for the relevance of parenting interventions for attaining the SDGs globally, and identify the barriers to and strategies for achieving their scale-up. The implications of the global COVID-19 pandemic for the delivery of evidence-based parenting support are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-952
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Psychiatry & Human Development
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported through strategic funding awarded by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland.


  • Child development
  • Evidence-based parenting support
  • Parenting
  • Sustainable development goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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