Parenting & Youth

We translate research evidence into resources that parents will find useful, to empower them to support their child's mental health.

There are two major research programs that we run within this group.

Parenting Strategies research translation program

This award-winning research program offers online resources to empower parents in supporting their child's mental health. The website provides three sets of Parenting Guidelines for free download, with the aim to reduce alcohol misuse and depression and anxiety in young people. These guidelines are endorsed by research evidence and international expert consensus, and have been accessed by many parents and professionals internationally. Preliminary evaluations of the guidelines indicate that most parents have found them useful and relevant, and reported making changes to their parenting since reading the guidelines. In addition, we have developed interactive, personally-tailored online parenting programs based on these guidelines. Two large randomised controlled trials of the program to prevent depression and anxiety in adolescents have found it to be effective in improving parenting skills and confidence that are important for reducing adolescents’ risk of depression and anxiety disorders. Another trial is underway to evaluate the effects of a similar tailored online program for parents of primary school-aged children. We are currently working with collaborators nationally and internationally to expand and conduct further evaluations of various versions of the programs.

Barriers and facilitators of parental engagement in preventive programs for child mental health

While the evidence base for existing and new preventive parenting programs continues to grow, the rates of engagement and uptake by parents have remained lower than desirable. There are specific parent subgroups that are under-served by these resources, including fathers and parents living with social disadvantage. We aim to find out more about the factors that influence parents' decision to engage with prevention programs for their child's mental health, in order to identify factors that we can modify to increase parents' engagement with evidence-based programs that can benefit their child's mental health.

Case study

Parenting Strategies

Addiction Lead

Professor Murat Yücel

T: +61 3 9902 9765


Addiction Deputy Lead

Professor Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

T: +61 3 9905 5374