McMaster University + STEM Camp

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McMaster Offord Centre logo

As part of our commitment to community and supporting STEM learning and work in many ways, STEM Camp has partnered with the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University to assist them with a research study funded by Public Health Canada. STEM Camp’s role is to inform and invite families in our STEM Camp community to participate.

The Goal of the McMaster University Research Project

Parenting is complicated, and this last year has made it even more so.  This study seeks to explore which parenting strategies families find most helpful to manage those challenges.  Ultimately, the goal of this research project is to help improve family relationships, and to build on previous research which has shown how positive parenting practices improve child outcomes and parent-child relationships.  

The focus of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of different parenting programs: The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Circle of Security Parenting Program (COSP) and existing services from one of 4 agencies in Ontario, to understand which program families benefit from the most. 

About the Programs Being Studied

Triple P: Triple P aims to reduce behavioural and emotional problems in children and improve parenting practices by increasing parents’ levels of knowledge, skills, and confidence. Through the program, parents learn the causes of child behaviour problems, how to set specific goals and apply strategies to promote child development, manage misbehaviour and plan for high-risk situations.

COSP: COSP focuses on increasing caregiver sensitivity and reducing risk of insecure attachment. The program aims to change a child’s behaviour by changing the caregiver’s response to their child by increasing the caregiver’s ability to understand their child, increasing sensitivity to their child, and focusing on parent’s emotional regulation.

Both Triple P and COSP offer ways for caregivers to develop practical skills, which can help decrease challenging behaviours and emotions in young children and help improve the families’ relationship.

Agencies: The agencies that McMaster is collaborating with are Children First, The George Hull Centre for Children and Families, Lumenus, and Pathstone Mental Health. All agencies use a family-centred approach based on principles of respecting every family’s beliefs, values, and culture.

Who Can Participate & What’s Involved

Parents or caregivers of children 2-6-years old, residing in Ontario, are invited to participate in the study. There are a few other eligibility questions that will be covered in a preliminary phone call with those who are interested.

Those who agree to participate will be randomly assigned to one of three programs, Triple P, COSP, or an existing service at one of the agencies noted. The entire program will be delivered virtually. For families who don’t have access to a device, the researchers will provide them with an iPad for the duration of the program.

There are 4 virtual study check-ins: before program delivery, after program delivery, a 6 month follow-up and a 12 month follow up. The program itself is 8 weeks long, consisting of 1 weekly 1.5-2 hour session, again all virtual.

Benefits of Participating

The benefits of participating include:

  • Access to parenting programs that improve child outcomes and parent-child relationships
  • Use of an iPad for the duration of the program (up to 15 months)
  • Gift cards for a total of $350 for participating in the virtual study check-ins

How to Participate

Interested families can contact the research team by telephone (toll free) 833-511-2628 or email raisingstrongkids@gmail.com. Visit raisingstrongkids.com to learn more.