The author with the subject of awe.

The Grandma Hypothesis: We’ve got more resources to draw from than the rest of the animal kingdom but that doesn’t help family conflict

We often hear the old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child”, yet with increasing independence, geographical movement, and isolation how true 300-320 is this? Interesting data out of the US shows that we are indeed more isolated than ever before, with up Windows 10 Product Keyto 40 percent or more of all households containing a single a href=”http://www.infodouane.nl”>parajumpers jas heren 70-494 occupant in cities such as San Francisco, Denver and Seattle.

What is surprising about this is that as humans we know we are

, meaning that we have evolved as a species to work in groups, where a broad range of individuals helps support the mother and father in raising offspring. And you can see this not only in humans, but clearly in other mammalian species, particularly with our closest relatives the chimpanzees and apes where we share up to 97-99 per cent of our DNA.

Gorillas are actually my all-time favourite animal. I fell absolutely in love with them when I watched David Attenborough’s documentary Life on Earth where he comes face-to-face with the mighty silverback and his family. The episode left a lasting impression on me. And in 2013 I was able to go on a trip of lifetime and realise my dream of going gorilla trekking in Rwanda with my wife.

Visiting the gorillas involved a mighty trek through the Virunga Mountains, one of the last remaining places on earth you can see these incredible animals. When I came face to face with the silverback and his family the thing that immediately struck me is how similar we are. Our toenails, thumbs, and most amazingly our eyes – there is no doubt we share a common ancestor. The very next thing I noticed is how the gorilla family or “troop” is so similar to ours. They need a family in order to both survive and thrive. There was dad – the silverback, a number of females (the mothers), and of course the very cute baby gorillas. But where was grandma?

Why Grandma is important

Indeed, this is a defining aspect of the human species: As adults we live much longer after our ability to reproduce finishes, whereas when other species reach the end of reproduction they very shortly pass on. This means, as humans, we have a very long post-reproductive period – indeed we can live for up to 40-50 years longer. And this isparajumpers jas ugo where grandma becomes very important.

The grandmother hypothesis suggests that grandma involvement in family life helps increase her daughter’s fertility and chance of the grandchildren surviving. Indeed, data shows that if the grandmother is present in the family, in some cases it doubles the chances of more children being born. Why? Well, all of a sudden mum has somebody at home to help provide childcare to her other children, whilst she looks after her newborn.

In Australia, more than one million children receive regular child care from their grandparents. That’s one in every four children. On average grandparents provide 12 hours of care per week to their grandkids aged between 0-12 years.

Grandparent involvement in childcare is a very altruistic and compassionate act. Indeed, grandparents often give up some of their working hours, social events, and hobbies to help look after their grandchildren. Grandparent involvement also helps mothers re-enter the workforce, increase family income, and help stimulate economic growth. However, providing regular child care can come at cost.

When grandparents provide regular child care it is not uncommon for  tension, conflict, and disagreement to occur between grandparents and parents, which can negatively impact child development.

For example, researchers have consistently found that parents dislike unsolicited parenting advice from grandparents, and that it contributes to poorer Lenovo IdeaPad V570 AC Adapter grandparent-parent relationship quality.

Despite grandparents being aware of this, they find it difficult to refrain from providing parenting advice, and can struggle with accepting parenting decisions. This of course can lead to family conflict, which in turn, can adversely impact the psychbaby gorillaological adjustment, and parenting practices, of both grandparents and parents. Family conflict and tension can also negatively impact Dell Latitude E6500 AC Adapter children’s social, emotional and behavioural development.

Of course this is not true for all grandparents and parents, as many get along just great, but when tension and family conflict exist between grandparents and parents it can become very difficult for all parties involved.

So how can we help grandparents and parents in this critical and important role of co-parenting?

Evidence-based parenting programs are one of the best ways to help, with meta-analyses showing that parenting programs positively influence child, parent and family outcomes. However, until recently there was no specific evidence-based parenting program yet modified for grandparents.

The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, in a world’s first, designed and developed a program specifically for grandparents providing regular child care called Grandparent Triple P. And to point out any potential conflict of interest, I must advise that I am a co-author of the program along with Triple P founder, Professor Matt Sanders.

Grandparent Triple P

Grandparent Triple P is a nine-week group program and has three aims: 1) provide a refresher course on parenting strategies, 2) p
rovide communication strategies to enhance the parent-grandparent relationship, and 3) provide coping skills for grandparents to manage the stress of providing regular child care.

The program has been evaluated in two randomised controlled trials, one in Australia with 54 grandparents, and one in Hong Kong with 56 grandparents.

Based on both evaluations the program was found to help improve grandparent confidence, reduce stress, and most importantly, improve childhood behavioural outcomes. Importantly, the Australian trial also found it helped improve parent-grandparent relationship satisfaction.

Researchers are now looking at making a shorter version of the program.

So as humans we are lucky to have grandparents. Unfortunately the beautiful gorilla troop didn’t have a grandma around to help with the upbringing of their offspring. We have been giving evolutionary advantage, which we often do not recognise and acknowledge.

Twitter: @JamesNKirby

 

 

 

New direction in Triple P research looks at harnessing the power of the family

 

An unusual collaboration is looking at whether a solution that has already helped millions around the world can be adapted and integrated to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems.

University of Queensland researchers across the behavioural sciences, engineering, business and marine environmental management are working together with researchers from the newly formed Triple P Innovation Precinct to tackle issues such as food security, sustainability and energy poverty.

“Working through the family, we are seeking to overcome the obstacles currently preventing the successful deployment of reliable, affordable and sustainable solutions for the developing world,’’ Triple P founder, Professor Matt Sanders, said.

As part of this new direction in research, the Triple P team is collaborating with the Global Change Institute (GCI) and the UQ Energy Initiative to apply behaviour change mechanisms to some pressing regional problems.

The first collaboration, an environmental management initiative, applies behavioural principles from Triple P to the Capturing Coral Reef and Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES) project, managed by the GCI, and funded by the World Bank.

CCRES Chief Scientist Professor Peter Mumby said coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds in Indonesia and the Philippines were under threat from human pollution, unsustainable development, overfishing and climate change.

But often, simply educating people about the benefits of cooperation and the science behind sustainability failed to change the way these communities interact with their environment.

The second collaboration brings together behavioural parenting researchers with engineers form the UQ Energy Initiative to examine how clean cook stoves can be successfully deployed within India to prevent diseases caused by household air pollution.

The International Energy Agency estimates that 2.7 billion people lack access to clean cooking and heating technologies, a number which includes an estimated 1.3 billion people without access to electricity.

UQ Energy Initiative Director Professor Chris Greig said the Initiative had recognised a transdisciplinary approach was needed for the past two years.

He says a behaviour change program that targets a family’s motivation for using cleaner stoves could change the community’s norms for cooking technologies.

Both collaborations are being led by John Pickering, Head of Innovation and Engagement, from the Parenting and Family Support Centre.

After a recent trip to Selayar, a remote island in Indonesia, as part of the CCRES project, Mr Pickering said initial research was encouraging.

“The single strongest message that came through when we spoke with these communities is that people want the best for their children and don’t want to see them go through the same hardships they had,’’ Mr Pickering said. “They want their children to have a better education, better health, better quality of life and they’re motivated to work with us to shape the solution.’’

This story first appeared in UQ’s new magazine for investors of change, Changemakers.

 

school the conversation

Is your child less likely to be bullied in a private school?

 

Is it really the case that more bullying occurs in public schools? And should this affect a parent’s choice of school for their child?

Do these results reflect what’s happening?

HILDA tracked a sample of 13,000 households in New South Wales between 2001 and 2012. The data on schools comes from 2012 when participants were asked a range of educational questions.

Households with school-aged children were asked whether or not their child was bullied at school. A higher proportion of parents of children in state schools reported their child was bullied compared with private schools. The differences were greatest for high schools, with 22% of parents at state schools reporting their child was bullied, compared to 15% in Catholic and 11% in other private schools.

So is this information likely to be accurate? There is no reason to suggest the sample is not representative of the NSW population. However, given the question about bullying is based on one question only (with no definition of bullying apparent in the report), it would be useful to draw comparisons with other research.

Do bullies discriminate by sector?

There is actually very little research comparing bullying rates at private versus state schools. This is probably because schools are unlikely to agree to take part in research that makes direct comparisons between schools on such a sensitive topic.

There is, however, a similar population sample survey conducted by the US government. In this study, parents whose children attended state schools (29%) also reported higher rates of bullying than parents whose children attended private schools (22%). So does this mean an individual child is less likely to be bullied at a private school?

Parents want the best for their child and are attracted to schools that report good data for students on academic, behavioural and social outcomes. But whether your child will have the same experience as children who have gone before depends on whether the results reported are the result of what happens at the school or whether they are inherent to the sample of children who attend the school.

Misinterpretation of statistics

A team of New Zealand researchers conducted some interesting research on individual and school factors affecting students’ academic success at school and later success in tertiary education.

They found the success of a school can be judged by educational programs but not by the demographics of who attends the school. Given general school-leaving results reflect both demography and education programs, they are not a valid measure of a school’s educational quality.

Students’ academic achievement is influenced not only by the educational program a school offers – but by what the individual student brings to the school in terms of genetic capability, family support and prior learning.

Almost all state schools are required by law to accept all students in their catchment area. Private schools are not bound by this requirement. Private schools attract a selective population of students whose parents can afford the fees and who are conscientious enough to have enrolled their child many years in advance.

Most private schools also have enrolment applications that exceed their quota, so they can screen for academic ability and behaviour. These schools do not end up with a representative sample of students (and neither do the minority of state schools that have merit entry).

It is therefore a fallacy that we can deduce the relative benefit schools can provide for our child by simply comparing outcome data across schools.

More at-risk minorities in state schools

There is no research to my knowledge that examines the differences in effectiveness of private or state schools in preventing or addressing bullying. However, we do know that private schools start with different populations of students from state schools.

Not surprisingly, the HILDA report shows that family income and the proportion of parents holding university degrees are highest in non-Catholic private schools and lowest in state schools; state schools also have a higher proportion of single parents.

There are more at-risk minorities in state schools.

The greater diversity of students at state and private schools results in state schools educating more students at risk of being bullied. Several demographic factors on which state and private schools differ have been found to be relevant to the risk of a child being bullied.

Children with a disability are much more likely to be victims of bullying and violence at school than other students, as are children enrolled in special education classes.

Parents’ educational level has also been found to discriminate bullied from non-bullied children. Children whose father is absent (likely to be more often the case in single-parent families) are also at greater risk of victimisation.

This suggests that the differences in victimisation between private and state schools may not be due to a higher level of victimisation across all state school students; rather they may reflect a higher proportion of a minority of children who are frequently victimised.

The 2015 Productivity Commission report also provides evidence that a much higher proportion of at-risk students attend state rather than private schools.

In 2013, 84% of Indigenous students and 76% of students with a disability attended state schools. Nationally in 2013, the proportion of students with disability was significantly higher in state schools (6.2%) than in private schools (3.6%).

Around 10% of children in Australia are bullied on a daily basis. For these frequently bullied children, victimisation tends to be chronic over time. It can continue even when children change schools, which includes crossing from primary to middle or secondary school contexts.

In a study at the Parenting and Family Support Centre, where making a fresh start at a new school was part of an intervention for some of the children, there were at least as many successful transitions for children moving from private to state schools as for children moving from state to private schools. What was more important was the ability of the child to fit in and make friends at the new school.

So is a child less likely to be bullied at a private school?

Although more parents from state schools report their child is bullied than do parents from private schools, this could result from the higher proportion of at-risk students who attend state schools. Therefore we cannot conclude that an individual child will be less likely to be bullied if they attend a private school.

There is bullying at all schools. A number of factors impact a child’s risk of being targeted for bullying. These include school management, the child’s social and emotional skills, support from friends and the parenting they receive.

Children’s friendships at school are an important protective factor against bullying. So whether your child already has good friends or is likely to be able to make good friends at a school is an important factor in choosing a school for your child.

Supportive family relationships help protect children against the emotional consequences of bullying at school, so families should take lifestyle factors such as the financial burden of school fees and long travel times into account when choosing a school.The Conversation

Karyn Healy is Program Coordinator (Psychologist), Resilience Triple P program Parenting and Family Support Centre at The University of Queensland.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Read the original article.

wa meeting

Triple P parenting seminars in Western Australia earn top marks

Feedback from both practitioners and parents at a recent West Australian Triple P parenting and professional development seminar has been overwhelmingly positive, organisers say.

The professional development forum, organised by the WA Department
of Health, Department of Education and Department of Local Government and Communities Department, was also attended by the acting Commissioner for Children and Young People in Western Australia, Jenni Perkins, along with more than 130 representatives from government and non-government agencies.

More than three-quarters of responding providers who attended the March forum said they would attend similar events in future.

Acting Commissioner Jenni Perkins’ report on the forum can be found here.

A summary report on the two-day event also showed that satisfaction levels were high among the vast majority of parents who attended the Triple P Seminar, Raising Resilient Children, featuring Triple P founder and director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre, Professor Matt Sanders.

Parents from the seminar overwhelmingly reported the information presented was meaningful and useful, met their expectations and they came away knowing enough to implement the advice received.

Highlights for parents included the fact that they felt reassured they were doing the right thing, that the strategies they were learning might have an impact on later life outcomes as well as the fact that they now felt able to teach their children emotional and social coping skills as well as how to manage strong emotions.

 

Innovation scholarships announced for Triple P

A new research initiative at The University of Queensland, the Triple P Innovation Precinct, has announced four scholarship positions.

The TPIP is an activity of the Parenting and Family Support Centre, led by Professor Matt Sanders, the founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program.

The TPIP will explore how Triple P can be applied to address some unique and interesting challenges.child-beach

Projects will explore how innovation in a system of child and family interventions (Triple P) can be applied to such things as improving the way people interact with the natural environment and the value of parenting programs in developing countries. Read more

Do boys suffer when mothers go back to work? Not necessarily

The rise of workforce participation by mothers is regarded as an international social phenomenon.

And while studies have suggested that girls with working mums are likely to enjoy a range of advantages, provocative new research suggests that boys over time might not do as well.

This was the subject of discussion on a recent Radio National Life Matters program hosted by Natasha Mitchell featuring Professor Matt Sanders, Professor of Clinical Psychology, director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre, and founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, Professor Marian Baird, Professor of Employment Relations and Director of the Women Work Research Group in the University of Sydney Business School, and Dr Xiaodong Fan, research fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research in the University of New South Wales.

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What should parents do if their child is bullied at school?

Having your child bullied at school is one of the greatest fears of parents – and research shows this fear is well founded. School bullying has been described as the single most important threat to the mental health of children and adolescents.

Well-controlled studies show that being bullied in primary school increases the risk of serious mental health problems into adolescence and ongoing depression leading well into adulthood.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t?

So when parents find out their child is being bullied, they are right to be concerned. But what exactly should they do about it? Should they tell the school, approach the parents of the other child, or just let their child deal with it?

It can be difficult to weigh up the sometimes conflicting advice given to parents. Parents desperately want to help their child, but if they jump in too quickly to protect their child they can be labelled as over-protective or over-indulgent.

School authorities often recommend parents leave the school to handle it. This is fine if the school is successful in stopping the bullying. However, this is not always the case. Most school programs to address bullying make only modest improvements, leaving some children to continue to be bullied.

This could be why we often hear of parents taking matters into their own hands. This can lead to uncertain legal ground if parents reprimand other children and to ugly arguments between parents. Clearly none of these approaches is ideal.

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Taking care of vulnerable children starts with empathy

When it comes to the difficult topic of child maltreatment, it’s easy to condemn. What might not be so easy to understand for parents who sacrifice the second car for the school fees or drive hundreds of kilometres each weekend taking kids to social and sporting events, is that even parents found guilty of neglecting their children want better lives for their kids.

I’ve often seen this in clinical practice. It’s not that struggling parents lack the will to provide a safe and loving environment for their children. What they are lacking are the skills, knowledge and confidence to create the kind of environment where children feel safe, loved and secure, where kids can grow up to become capable people ready to deal with the world and its challenges.

The lives of parents struggling to look after children can be full of turmoil and riven by poverty, a situation reinforced by social structures where a lack of opportunity is transmitted from one generation to the next.

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