The Triple P – Positive Parenting program developed by the University of Queensland has been included in US policy recommendations to reduce the toxic effects of poverty on children’s health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that evidence-based parenting programs, including Triple P, be integrated with services provided by U.S. medical offices.
Parenting and Family Support Center clinical psychology professor and founder of Triple P, Professor Matt Sanders, said parenting skills are part of a mix of influences that can affect a child’s health and development.
“These influences include housing, the social environment, schools and access to medical care,” said Professor Sanders.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that powerful environmental influences across the family can alter gene expression and, therefore, children’s behavior. “
A technical report accompanying the policy and published in the journal Pediatrics says physicians can help combat the effects of poverty on the health of children and families by helping parents promote resilience in their young children, “giving them the ability to cope with adversity and d ‘reduce the effects of stress’.
Programs like Triple P have been shown to promote responsive parenting and address common behavioral and developmental issues, the report says.
Poverty has been linked to low birth weight, negative effects on early brain development through toxic stress, stunted growth and development, teenage pregnancy, and chronic diseases such as asthma.
Later in life, this indicates conditions such as hypertension, higher levels of depression, and increased drug addiction.
Policy recommendations include that community physicians become more sensitive to the needs of families affected by poverty and adopt systematic screening to detect families in difficulty.
“Practices can use written projections or ask families about their basic needs like food, shelter and heat. Patients can then be referred to a social worker or community program, or receive contact information for places like pantries, ”the recommendations say.
Other recommendations include the promotion of early literacy promotion programs, home visiting programs for mothers, young children and children, and working with community organizations to ensure that families with unmet needs are supported.
Paediatricians can tap into resources such as public health, legal services, social work organizations, pantries, faith-based organizations, community health services, and parent support groups, the recommendations advise. .
Media: Paddy Hintz, [email protected], 0431 706822.