Niagara volunteers sought for parenting and family support study

kid at window The study from McMaster University and Pathstone Mental Health aims to help families battle depression during COVID-19. - Metroland file photo Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Offord Centre for Child Studies out of McMaster University has collaborated with Pathstone Mental Health to launch a parenting and family support study. The overall goal is to examine two new parenting programs and get an understanding if families benefit from either, or both.

Both the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and Circle of Security Parenting Program (COSP) offer ways for parents and caregivers to develop practical skills to help decrease challenging behaviours and emotions in young children.

“We want to see which of the programs will benefit families and their children more, and whether these programs are better than existing ones,” said Andrea Gonzalez, associate professor, and Canada research chair in family health and preventive interventions, at Offord Centre.

This project comes at a time when COVID-19 has introduced increased levels of challenges for families. As per a 2020 survey conducted by Offord Centre, 40 per cent of parents indicated their children’s behaviour/mood had deteriorated and there were findings of extremely high levels of depression among caregivers.

Research suggests that parenting programs can improve emotional and behavioural adjustment of children and enhance the psychosocial well-being of parents. By taking part in this study, parents/caregivers may find they feel more positive about themselves and their caregiving skills and strategies, while also helping other parents/caregivers in the future.

If you are a family with children aged 2 to 6 and are interested in participating in this study, contact Pathstone Mental Health at 905-688-6850 ext. 319 or by email at [email protected].