Published: August 26, 2019


The transmission of parenting practices from one generation to the next is the focus of a study of vulnerable mothers in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow, Scotland.

University of Glasgow PhD student Simon Barrett recently visited The University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research to outline his research on the influence of people’s upbringing on their own parenting practices. His study complements the THRIVE (Trial of Healthy Relationships Initiatives for the Very Early years) project in Glasgow, which is examining the effectiveness of parenting interventions for vulnerable mothers with additional health and social care needs, including mental health conditions, substance misuse, homelessness, domestic abuse, child protection concerns and involvement in the criminal justice system. The interventions being trialled include the Triple P Positive Parenting Program, founded by Life Course Centre Chief Investigator Professor Matthew Sanders.

Simon is undertaking his PhD at the University of Glasgow’s MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit. His mixed-method study incorporates quantitative analysis of the factors influencing parental self-efficacy as well as qualitative interviews on participants’ upbringing, and how they feel these experiences and events have shaped their current approaches to parenting. These in-depth interviews allow the participants to tell the story of their own lived experiences of their complex backgrounds and vulnerabilities, providing a personal insight into modelling parenting behaviours, self-reflection and self-efficacy, and how parenting practices can transmit from generation to generation.

Caption: Simon Barrett with Professor Lisa McDaid, who recently joined UQ’s Institute for Social Science Research from the University of Glasgow’s MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit.