New challenges for Australian parents

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A Charles Sturt University (CSU) honours student is researching how contemporary parents are seen by the community, as they confront new challenges like integrating work and childcare.

Ms Chelsea Veitch is conducting the research as part of her dissertation for a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) (Honours) in the CSU School of Psychology.

“I am interested in exploring how Australian adults perceive contemporary parents,” Ms Veitch said.

“Today’s mothers and fathers have to deal with a number of challenges that previously did not exist. Trying to successfully integrate work and childcare is one such challenge. The consequences of this integration appear to affect not only personal time and family income, but relationships, mental health, and wellbeing.

“Social research like this helps to establish an understanding of common social attitudes and beliefs. At the very top level, this information can guide important social policy, generate funding for community-based support programs, and inform public and private treatment programs.”

Ms Veitch seeks 300 to 500 male and female adults aged 18 and older to participate in her study titled ‘The role of mums and dads today’. The study survey involves reading basic information describing a contemporary parent followed by answering a short 20-minute online questionnaire .

Ms Veitch said there has been a lot of research in other countries that examined people’s perceptions of mothers and the effect of this on mothers’ physical and mental health, but very little research has included fathers, and Australian research in this area is basically non-existent.

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“Currently I have 128 completed surveys of which only 25% are by men,” she said. “In order to improve the study’s validity I hope to increase male participation.”

Ms Veitch said she would love to continue research in this topic after she graduates.

“I feel that the challenges parents face in raising their children, the choices they make and how they arrive at these choices, has important implications for not only the child’s wellbeing but the parent and other familial relationships,” she said.

The study, ‘The role of mums and dads today’, is being conducted under the supervision of Dr Karl Wiener in the CSU School of Psychology, and has CSU Human Research Ethics Committee approval (project number 2015/093).

Survey collection will close at 9am Monday 10 August to allow adequate time for data analysis. To participate or to find more information, click here or email

(Source: Charles Sturt University)

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Date Created: July 31, 2015