Parenting and youth mental health

Parenting and youth mental health

The Parenting and Youth Mental Health lab is led by Dr Marie Yap, NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Senior Research Fellow and Psychologist. The main focus of this research group is to translate research evidence into resources that parents will engage with and find useful, to empower them to support their child's mental health. There are two major research programs run in this group.

Parenting Strategies research translation program

This is an award-winning research program which offers online resources to empower parents in supporting their child's mental health. The website offers 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. In addition, we have developed interactive, personally-tailored online parenting programs based on these guidelines. A pilot randomised controlled trial of the program to prevent depression and anxiety in adolescents has found it to be effective in improving parenting and reducing adolescent depression and anxiety three months after parents receive the program. Plans are underway 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. Within this research program, we want to find out more about the factors that influence parents' decision to engage with prevention programs for their child's mental health. The aim is to identify factors that we can modify, to increase parents' engagement with evidence-based programs that can benefit their child's mental health.