Supports and Resources Used by Adults Regarding Child Development: Results from a Provincial Survey
CPS ePoster Library. Gibbard B. Jun 25, 2015; 99228; 167
Dr. Ben Gibbard
Dr. Ben Gibbard
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Abstract
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Background: Adult knowledge of child development and parenting shapes their expectations and feedback to children as they learn and grow. Effective guidance of children by adults is influenced by their knowledge of child development. There are gaps in our understanding about what information and resources adults access related to child development. Research has focused on knowledge of child development among parents despite an increased acknowledgement that children are exposed to a range of adult influences.
Objectives: To review the supports and services used by adults regarding child development and parenting, including: (1) what topics and information sources are used, and; (2) what key people or professionals are accessed for advice about children? To determine whether these supports and services vary by parents versus non-parents, urban versus non-urban residence, or if the adult was a parent of a child with a special health care need (SHCN).
Methods: A telephone survey of 1,451 randomly selected adults - both parents and non-parents - was conducted in 2013 and explored parenting supports and services, and included demographic information. Data were analyzed using univariate and bivariate techniques (p<0.05).
Results: Key information sources regarding child development identified included books (68%), television/media (43%), recreation centres (41%), and the public library (38%). Key parenting supports were family members or friends (76%), family doctors or pediatricians (61%), and teachers (54%). Parents were more likely to access any resource or support than non-parents. Adults living in urban settings were more likely to use physicians, child-care providers, the public library, and phone advice services for information about children than rural adults. Parents of children with SHCN were more likely to contact teachers and developmental specialists about their children than parents of children without SHCN. Online access of information was preferred by 47%.
Conclusion: Adults use a variety of information sources regarding child development and parenting, and access these resources through the internet and in various community settings or organizations. Information is also obtained from social networks including family and friends. Health service providers and educators in particular are a key source of information for adults about child development and parenting. There is an opportunity to make accessible already existing programs and services that support families and children that target both parents and non-parents using the venues, organizations and professionals identified from this survey.
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