$610K research grant to support parents of teens through pandemic

A project aimed at reducing longer-term risk of adolescent mental health problems by enhancing parents’ ability to support them through the pandemic is the recipient of a $610K MRFF-funded research grant, announced by the Australian government during the 2020 Budget this month.

Led by the Turner Institute’s Associate Professor Marie Yap, the project aims to equip parents of teens with the skills to better Associate Professor Marie Yapsupport their children during COVID-19 and beyond.

“COVID-19 has significantly impacted Australian adolescents, with disruptions to their education and social and family life during a stage of development when they are vulnerable to developing mental disorders like depression and anxiety,” explained Associate Professor Yap.

“While parents play a pivotal role in mitigating these impacts on their adolescents, COVID-19 has brought considerable challenges to parents themselves, including job loss, financial instability and loss of social support networks, thus reducing their capacity to support their child.”

The project will adapt the award-winning Partners in Parenting (PiP) online program, which is proven to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in adolescents through evidence-based parenting strategies to support their child.

“Our plan is to involve parents in a co-designed process to make PiP more responsive to their changing needs, and integrate PiP with an online peer-support platform for parents. It is our hope that this will empower parents through these challenging times, and enhance their capacity to safeguard their child’s mental health and wellbeing,” Associate Professor Yap said.