Parenting Research Centre publications 2022
Kate Spalding (PRC), Melanie Hughes (Karitane), Julia Martinovich (Lifestart). A community of practice approach to the implementation of telepractice. PRECI conference presentation. 2022 November.
Wade, C. Support in the early years of parenting and pregnancy. Brighter Beginnings Summit conference presentation. 2022 October.
Bennetts, S.K., Love, J., Bennett, C., Burgemeister, F., Westrupp, E.M., Hackworth, N.J., Mensah, F.K. Levickis, P., & Nicholson, J.M. Do neighbourhoods influence how parents and children interact? Direct observations of parent-child interactions within a large Australian study. Child & Youth Services Review. 2022 October.
Abstract: Neighbourhood-level factors can exert unique influence on children’s development, independent of individual parent, child, and family factors. We investigated the contribution of neighbourhood socioeconomic status (using government-generated definitions) to directly-observed parent-child interactions among 596 Australian parents and their 7-8-year-old children. Parents’ sensitive responding and parent-child positive mutuality were rated according to the SCARP:7-8 Years (Short Coding of Attachment-Related Parenting). Adjusting for individual family characteristics, multilevel modelling revealed evidence of an association between neighbourhood socioeconomic status and sensitive responding (β=.10, p=.004) but not for parent-child positive mutuality (β= -.01, p=.90). Tailored, evidence-based parenting supports according to local community need are warranted.
Catherine Wade, Jan Matthews, Faye Forbes, Mathew Burn, Fiona May, Warren Cann. Influences on fathers’ information- and support-seeking for parenting. Journal of Family Issues. 2022 September.
Abstract: The study aimed to document the preferences of fathers in accessing and using parenting supports and to investigate the influence of a range of family contextual factors including paternal mental health, child disability, the co-parenting relationship and parenting sense of efficacy on fathers’ help-seeking. Participants included a representative sample of 1,044 fathers of zero- to 18-year-olds. Results suggest that most fathers feel supported in their parenting role and rely on their own efforts (e.g. online searches) for information to support their parenting in preference to in-person interactions with professionals or attendance at groups. The co-parenting relationship and paternal mental health were also identified as important factors impacting on paternal help-seeking behaviours. These results from one of the largest surveys of fathers of its kind provide credible insights into the parenting help-seeking experiences and support needs of fathers, with clear implications for policy makers and service providers.
Burgemeister, F.C., Hokke, S., Crawford, S., Hackworth, N. & Nicholson, J.N. Does place matter in the implementation of an evidence-based program policy in an Australian place-based initiative for children? Health and Social Care in the Community. 2022 September.
Abstract: Policy-mandated requirements for use of evidence-based programs (EBP) in place-based initiatives are becoming more common. Little attention has been paid to the geographic aspects of uneven market development and urbanicity in implementing EBPs in large place-based initiatives. The aim of this study was to explore geographic variation in knowledge, attitudes, and experiences of service providers who implemented an EBP policy in Australia’s largest place-based initiative for children, Communities for Children. A cross-sectional online survey of Communities for Children service providers was conducted in 2018–2019, yielding 197 participants from all of Australia’s eight states and territories. Relationships between two measures of ‘place’ (thick and thin market states; urbanicity: urban, regional and remote) and study-designed measures of knowledge, attitudes, and implementation experiences were analyzed using adjusted logistic and multinomial regressions. Participants from thin market states (outside the Eastern Seaboard) were more resistant to the policy and experienced greater implementation challenges than those from thick market states (Eastern Seaboard). Regional participants reported greater knowledge about EBPs but experienced greater dissatisfaction and implementation challenges with the policy than both urban and remote participants. Our study found that place does matter when implementing EBPs in a place-based initiative.
The Parenting Research Centre worked with Emerging Minds to publish a workforce development package on the topic of bullying. There’s an elearning course and three practice papers:
- Exploring bullying in context
- Working with families to prevent bullying
- Supporting families to navigate school responses to bullying
Peyton, D., Wadley, G., Hackworth, N., Gobler, A. Hiscock, H. A co-designed website (FindWays) to improve mental health literacy of parents of children with mental health problems: protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Pediatrics. 2022 August.
Abstract: Mental health problems, such as behavioural and emotional problems, are prevalent in children. These problems can have long lasting, detrimental effects on the child, their parents and society. Most children with a mental health problem do not receive professional help. Those that do get help can face long wait times. While waiting, parents want to learn how they can help their child. To address this need, we co-designed a new website to help parents find ways of helping their child’s mental health problem while waiting to get specialist help.
Fiona C. Burgemeister, Stacey Hokke, Sharinne B. Crawford, Naomi J. Hackworth, Lisa H. Amir & Jan M. Nicholson. Service Provider Attitudes toward Evidence-Based Programs in an Australian Place-Based Initiative: Examining Organisational Roles and Evidence-Supportive Environments. Journal of Social Service Research and Journal of Professional Nursing. 2022 July-August.
Absract: Major disruptions to higher education during COVID-19 resulted in a rapid shift to online learning and associated adaptations to teaching and assessment practices, including for postgraduate programs requiring practical skill development such as nursing and midwifery. Educator perspectives of this transition have not been widely studied.
Matthews, J., Millward, C., Hayes, L. et al. Development and Validation of a Short-Form Parenting Self-Efficacy Scale: Me as a Parent Scale (MaaPs-SF). Journal of Child and Family Studies. 31, 2292–2302. 2022 May.
Abstract: Higher levels of self-reported parenting self-efficacy have been associated with positive parent–child relationships, parental mental health and child developmental outcomes. Parenting self-efficacy has also shown to be an antecedent, a mediator, a moderator and an outcome in parenting research and investigated widely in evaluation of parenting interventions. Therefore, a brief reliable and meaningful assessment of parenting self-efficacy would be a useful tool for researchers and practitioners understand the effectiveness of evidence-based parenting and family interventions. This study aimed to derive and validate a short-form of a longer 16-item self-report scale––the ‘Me as a Parent’ scale (MaaPs)––originally developed in an Australian context for clinical and research use. The full scale measures parents’ perceptions within four theoretical sub-traits of parenting self-regulation: self-efficacy, personal agency, self-management and self-sufficiency. To establish a short form, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were conducted on two separate datasets: the Parenting Self-Efficacy Study (PSES) (N = 160) and the 2016 Parenting Today in Victoria (PTiV) survey (N = 2600). Two main factors were derived with the dominant sub-scale being Self-Efficacy. A reliable 4-item MaaPs short-form (MaaPs-SF) was created comprising three self-efficacy items plus one self-management item. Pre and post-intervention PSES data supported the sensitivity of the MaaPs-SF to change associated with intervention, yielding similar results to the long-form scale. Selected analyses of the PTiV data predicting parenting outcomes were repeated using the MaaPs-SF with similar results to the long-form MaaPs. We concluded the 4-item MaaPs-SF could be reliably substituted for the 16-item scale for specific purposes.
- Click here for the MaaPs-SF on the PRC website. Included on this web page are links to the tool itself and details on how to score and interpret it.
Robinson, E., Sartore, G., Petrovic, Z., Wailes, E. & Crawley, D. Telepractice in child & family services during COVID-19 and beyond. Presentation – FRSA National Conference. 2022 May.
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for child and family services to complement many of their in-person services with online and digital methods of delivery. However, telepractice has broader applicability beyond the pandemic. The challenge is to better understand how telepractice can help to offer a continuum of services to meet the needs of all families.
Galea, S., Wade, C., Salvaris, C.A., Yap, M.B.H. & Lawrence, K.A. Acceptability of an enhanced transdiagnostic CBT intervention for adults with anxiety who are parenting an anxious child. Clinical Psychologist. 2022 May.
Abstract: Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in adults, and commonly aggregate within families. Although cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is regarded the most efficacious psychotherapy for anxiety disorders, remission rates are sub-optimal and broader systemic factors are typically not considered. The present study examined the acceptability of a modified transdiagnostic CBT for adult anxiety that also targeted anxiety-maintaining parenting behaviours and cognitions in anxious adults parenting an anxious child.
Wade, C., Almendingen, A. & Robinson, E. How parenting pre-teens compares to other child stages: Identifying opportunities to enhance adolescent mental health and wellbeing. Children & Society, 00, 1– 23. 2022 April.
Abstract: Early adolescence is a key stage for parents and children before increasing child independence, yet little research has explored parents’ experiences during this time. Results: Parents of pre-teens are mostly confident in their parenting, satisfied with children’s sleep and they were more confident in knowing where to seek professional help than parents of younger and older children. Nevertheless, there were several challenges, including the use of positive discipline and partner support. Parents of adolescents reported less favourable experiences in several areas, including concerns about children’s use of electronic devices, confidence and help-seeking. Findings highlight the importance of pre-adolescence as an opportune time to support parents prior to major developmental transitions associated with adolescence.
Salvaris, C. A., Wade, C., Galea, S., Yap, M.B.H. & Lawrence, K.A. Children’s Perspectives of an Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Child–Parent Dyads with Anxiety Disorders. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2022 April.
Abstract: Children with anxiety disorders are significantly less likely to recover following cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) if they have a parent with clinical anxiety. Despite this, prior research which has adapted CBT treatments to cater for this vulnerable clinical cohort of children is limited. In response to the identified need to optimize treatment outcomes for this particular group of children with anxiety disorders, an enhanced CBT intervention was recently developed, specifically to target anxiety maintenance factors in clinically anxious child–parent dyads. This dual case study presents the implementation of the enhanced intervention with two children with complex clinical presentations. Prior to treatment, both children met criteria for multiple anxiety disorders, as did their mothers. The presented case studies describe session-by-session treatment accounts, with a particular focus on the children’s experiences of individual and joint-observational exposure treatment components. Outcome data is provided for both children and their mothers, based on assessment measures collected at pre- and post-treatment, and during the intervention. At post-treatment, both children demonstrated symptom reduction and improved functioning across all diagnoses, including remission on a secondary diagnosis, although both still met criteria for their primary diagnoses. Additionally, self-reported outcomes on intervention acceptability measures were favorable. Results implied that the enhanced intervention provided a viable alternative treatment approach for children and their parents with co-occurring anxiety disorders. Recommendations are provided for clinicians delivering CBT to clinically anxious child–parent dyads.
Sartore GM, Macvean M, Wade C, Spalding K. Patient experience surveys for vulnerable families: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute for the NSW Ministry of Health. 2022 February.
Abstract: People with chronic or complex health issues may experience a range of stressors, such as low income and insecure housing, in addition to their health concerns that place them in a position of increased vulnerability. Understanding their experiences is key to improving the way support services provide care.
Burgemeister, F.C., Crawford, S., Hackworth, N., Hokke, S. & Nicholson, J.N. Implementation of evidence-based programs within an Australian place-based initiative for children: a qualitative study. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 2022 January.
Abstract: Place-based initiatives are frequently subject to “top-down” changes, despite having a “bottom-up” service delivery model. One example is the Australian Government’s “Communities for Children” Facilitating Partner initiative (CfC), aimed at improving child, family and community outcomes in geographically disadvantaged areas. CfC introduced a policy requiring initially 30% then 50% of service delivery funding to be spent on evidence-based programs. This qualitative study explores the rarely examined views and experiences of government personnel tasked with implementing the policy. Seventeen government personnel across Australia were interviewed and asked about knowledge and attitudes toward evidence-based practice and the policy change, and perceptions of the factors that influenced policy implementation. Data were analyzed thematically and findings compared to existing frameworks and theoretical models. Six themes were identified. Participants cited workforce, contextual and cultural factors as influences on implementation. Most viewed the implementation as worthwhile, although some lingering skepticism remained. Findings were consistent with a theory of organizational readiness for change. Organizations that were “enthusiastic and confident” were more effective at implementation; those that were “pragmatic and confident” focussed on compliance rather than benefits to families; while those that were “resistant and unconfident” struggled with implementation. Findings were also consistent with a framework of factors that support sustained implementation in disadvantaged populations, with three additional factors identified. These findings highlight the importance for governing bodies to build supporting factors broadly, and to plan for the provision of additional supports to organizations with a low level of change readiness.