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Building stronger families: Participants Needed

Research study focussed on the overall betterment of families.

Kids and their families have been subjected to monumental change through the pandemic. A collaboration on a parenting and family support study will take a closer look at two new parenting programs.

The Offord Centre for Child Studies out of McMaster University and Pathstone Mental Health have collaborated on this effort and hope to gain an overall understanding if families in this study benefit from one program over the other, or see benefit in both.

The Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) and the Circle of Security Parenting Program (COSP) each offer ways for parents and caregivers to develop practical skills, which can help decrease challenging behaviours and emotions in young children, and help, better the families’ relationship. This fall, the study will also address an important evidence gap – “we want to see which of the programs will benefit families and their children more, and whether these programs are better than existing ones”. Andrea Gonzalez, Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair in Family Health and Preventive Interventions, Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. This project comes at a time when COVID-19 continues to add challenges to kids and families.

40 per cent of parents indicated their children’s behaviour/mood had deteriorated and there were findings of extremely high levels of depression among caregivers. *Offord Centre’s landmark 2020 Ontario Parent Survey.

As students head back to class, we know there will be a new set of challenges that families experience. Research suggests that parenting programs can improve emotional and behavioural adjustment of children and enhance the psychosocial well-being of parents. By taking part in this study, parents/caregivers may find they feel more positive about themselves and caregiving skills and strategies, but also helping other parents/caregivers in the future.

“We are actively looking for families with children aged 2 -6 to enrol in this study,” says Gonzalez. If families need technology in order to participate, we can help with that too. In recognition of the time and effort as participants in the study, parents will receive gift cards for completing required interviews.

Interested in participating?

If you are a family with children aged 2-6 and are interested in participating in this study, contact Pathstone Mental Health at 905.688.6850 x 319 or email

About Pathstone Mental Health
Pathstone Mental Health is the primary provider of mental health services for children and youth in Niagara. Our mission is to provide innovative and effective treatment to those children and youth from the start of their life to age 18. Note, Crisis Services are offered 24/7 by calling 1-800-263-4944.

About The Offord Centre for Child Studies
A multi-disciplinary research institute established in 1992. Through collaboration across fields such as child psychiatry, pediatrics, policy development, and social work. The Centre’s aim is to better understand children’s mental health problems with the overall goal of improving the lives of children and youth.

Contact for Questions / Interviews on the study:
Andrea Gonzalez, Associate Professor
Tier II Canada Research Chair in Family Health and Preventive Interventions
McMaster University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences Offord Centre for Child Studies.

PathstoneBuilding stronger families: Participants Needed