Japanese researcher’s background as a nurse eventually leads her to publish on Triple P

Dr Rie Wakimizu

Dr Rie Wakimizu

Dr Rie Wakimizu is an Associate Professor from the University of Tsukuba in Japan.

She was part of an interdisciplinary group whose study on the effects of Group Triple P for families raising preschool or school-aged children with developmental disabilities adds to the growing Triple P evidence base in Japan.

In this translated version, Dr Wakimizu explains what prompted her interest in helping children with developmental disorders and their families.

During my two years nursing in a paediatric ward, I looked after a child with a developmental disorder who also suffered from malignant tumours.

The child’s mother was a single mother with severe depression. The patient’s sibling was neglected and then went on to develop problems such as refusing to go to school.

It was because of this case that I became really interested in interventions for children with developmental disorders and their families.

For the past seven years, as part of my work at Tsukuba University, I have been studying the different types of parenting difficulties families with children with developmental disorders face and investigating interventions available to them.

For my Masters and PhD degrees, I specialised in family nursing. The topic for my PhD thesis was the provision of care for families of the children who have been through minor surgeries before and after surgery.

When we ran the Group Triple P program, in the first session, most parents started crying and talking about their child’s disability and the struggles in their daily life.

Therefore, it was a natural progression for me to become interested in parenting support – such as Triple P – as a way of providing care for these children and their families.

While I was searching for parenting support packages to care for children and their families, I became interested in Triple P. Compared to other programs such as anger management programs,  Triple P has a strong framework and it has a clear guidelines, which was very attractive to me. So I chose Triple P for my research.

When we ran the Group Triple P program, in the first session, most parents started crying and talking about their child’s disability and the struggles in their daily life.

By the time of the eighth session however, the same parents were talking about the changes in themselves, their relationship with their child, and their family with bright affect.

I’m always moved by their dramatic changes.

 I believe that the optimum environment for raising healthy children should be developed in society as well as in families. Therefore, I would like to work on increasing the knowledge about this program among all professionals who work in caregiving and education for children, and on developing the system which makes it possible.