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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The quest for glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes. Can a parenting intervention such as Triple P help?

Parenting interventions such as Triple P have been shown to reduce mental health problems in children. But can a parenting intervention moderate the impact of type 1 diabetes in children as well as improve their mental health and wellbeing?

Two separate studies into the effects of Triple P – one conducted by a team across Melbourne, the other by an international team from Manchester and the University of Queensland’s Parenting and Family Support Centre – suggest these research questions are definitely worth pursuing.

The Melbourne randomised controlled trial (RCT), published in Pediatric Diabetes last year, tested whether Triple P could reduce or prevent mental health problems and improve glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes.

Meticulous glycemic control is regarded as crucial in preventing serious complications for people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

If not managed properly, type 1 diabetes can lead to serious short-term consequences, such as extremely low and high blood glucose levels, both of which can be fatal. Long-term complications include blindness and damage to kidneys, nerves and heart.

Unfortunately, day to day management of type 1 diabetes is complicated and onerous, especially for teens who would prefer someone “just invent a cure already’’ and parents struggling with behaviour problems in their kids.

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Brief, low-intensity interventions show promise in most comprehensive meta-analysis of the Triple P system to date

The recent publication of The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of a Multi-Level System of Parenting Support in Clinical Psychology Review is the most comprehensive meta-analytical assessment of Triple P to date.

This was the first meta-analysis of the Triple P system to examine the full range of outcomes that Triple P seeks to influence.

The meta-analysis investigated data compiled from reported outcomes of 16,009 families who have participated in a Triple P program over the past 33 years from a range of sources, including independent studies, unpublished studies and agencies delivering Triple P as part of regular service.

The most compelling finding for the value of the Triple P multi-level system is evidence that now shows that all delivery methods of Triple P – as well as the full suite of intervention levels – produce significant effects for children and their families.

This is important given that families themselves differ in terms of their preferences, the amount of time they have available to engage with a parenting program, their location and the presence of other sources of adversity in their lives.

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