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Small voices, significant stakeholders: young children's experiences of program participation and family life during involvement in a parenting program
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 01:51 authored by Kelly Baird
Research on parenting programs rarely focuses on the children's perspectives and little is understood about how children experience these programs or the changes that may occur in their families during program participation. Further, the voices of disadvantaged or vulnerable young children have often been excluded from research on issues that directly affect their lives. To address this research gap, the current study adopted a longitudinal, mixed method design with a primary focus on the experiences of disadvantaged 3 to 5 year-old children (N=5) who attended an attachment- based parenting program. Two other early childhood settings, a supported playgroup (N=3) and preschool (N=10) were included as comparison groups. A range of child-friendly, accessible, and valid qualitative data collection methods such as child-photography and child interviews were used to capture children's perspectives of program participation and everyday home life. In addition, standardised quantitative measures were used to assess relevant aspects of the children's social development, particularly the quality of their peer interactions as well as children's attachment narrative representations of their attachment relationships.