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Father involvement in early child-rearing and behavioural outcomes in their pre-adolescent children

A study exploring the association between father involvement in children’s early upbringing and behavioural outcomes in the pre-adolescent years has been published in the BMJ Open. The study by Charles Opondo, Maggie Redshaw, Emily Savage-McGlynn and Maria Quigley identified over 6,000 children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort who were reported to be living with both parents during infancy. The researchers found evidence that greater paternal involvement in the children’s early months was associated with fewer signs of behavioural problems in the children’s pre-teen years. Specifically, fathers’ emotional response and confidence in their new role were most strongly associated with lower odds of behavioural problems when their children reached 9 and 11 years of age.

This study was funded by the Department for Health through the Policy Research Programme, and the data were provided by the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) at the University of Bristol.

You can read more about the study in the BMJ Open.

Abstracts accepted for the 11th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference 2016

Conference program cover featuring a mother breastfeeding her baby in a birthing pool

NPEU researchers Jane Henderson and Maggie Redshaw are at the 11th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference in Sydney Australia this week to present their work.

Jane will be talking about a mixed methods study of women’s experience of early labour, and also presenting a poster describing women’s worries about and experience of labour pain and associated outcomes.

Maggie will talk about women’s mental health in pregnancy and the postnatal period, and present a poster on how peer support during pregnancy and following childbirth affects a woman’s emotional wellbeing.

If you’re attending the conference do look out for their presentations and talk to them about their work!

Fathers' involvement with parenting - quality (not quantity) matters

Fathers are increasingly involved in the care of their babies and young children.  In a study of over 6000 families NPEU researchers, Mary Kroll, Claire Carson, Maggie Redshaw and Maria Quigley investigated the relationship between fathers’ early involvement and later child behaviour.  Their results suggest that the quality of parenting, rather than the division of care between parents, is important for child behavioural outcomes.  Read the paper in PLOS ONE.

Women's smoking patterns before, during and after pregnancy in the UK

A study by NPEU researchers Kate Fitzpatrick, Ron Gray and Maria Quigley exploring smoking patterns during pre-conception, pregnancy and the postnatal period has been published in PloSOne.  Analsying data on 10,768 mothers from the 2010 UK Infant Feeding Survey, the research found that smoking patterns were complex, but five distinct patterns were identified: "non-smokers" (74.1% of all women); "pregnancy-inspired quitters" who gave up during pregnancy and did not relapse postnatally (10.2%); "persistent smokers" who smoked before, during and after pregnancy (10.1%); "temporary quitters" who gave up during pregnancy and relapsed postnatally (4.4%); and "postnatal quitters" (1.1%).  Being a persistent smoker or relapsing postnatally were more common in women who lived with a partner or other household member who smoked.  For more details, read the paper.

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