Mental Health Outcomes for Indigenous Australian Research
‘Evaluating the effectiveness of a trauma informed parenting intervention for Indigenous parents’ mental health and attachment quality’
University of New South Wales, NSW
Co-funded by Rotary Club of Sydney
“Early intervention is vital to start to redress the negative impact of complex trauma on the functioning of Aboriginal families.”
This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a trauma informed parenting intervention on urban NSW Indigenous Australians’ mental health, parenting
confidence and parental reflectiveness. It is hoped that the parenting program will improve the self-reported mental health symptoms and parenting experience of urban NSW Indigenous Australians.
Participants will be recruited from numerous Indigenous health services within the Newcastle and Hunter Valley regions. Fifty participants each will be allocated randomly to receive either the parenting intervention or attendance at equivalent number of group sessions as control condition not receiving any intervention.
The parenting program is a 12 week group therapy which teaches about attachment needs and also about the emotional cues a child exhibits. The program derives from the Marte Meo principles and will be adapted specifically for Aboriginal parents. It is strengths based in its approach.
Each week of the program will comprise a different topic relating to trauma, attachment and parenting along with a cultural component such as an Elder or an
activity. Children will attend a small number of sessions.
Prior to commencing the intervention, the parents will give consent to being part of the study, complete outcome measures related to their mental health and parenting experiences as well as providing general demographic data. The same outcome measures will be collected again at the completion of their intervention to establish any change.
Ongoing consultation with the communities’ elders, Aboriginal agencies and committees will be sought throughout the duration of this proposal.
Supervisors: Professor Valsa Eapen, Dr Beth Mah, Dr Jane Kohlhoff & Associate Professor Kym Rae.