Editorials

Peer led parenting support programmes

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1160 (Published 13 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1160
  1. Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health
  1. 1University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
  1. sarah.stewart-brown{at}warwick.ac.uk

Although relatively costly, they can be as effective as interventions delivered by professionals

It is becoming increasingly clear that the health risks attributable to poor parenting are far reaching, and as a consequence parenting has now reached a place of prominence in health policy.1 2 The most widely recognised health outcomes are conduct disorder and behavioural problems that are confined to childhood. However, through children’s behaviour, parenting has also been shown to predict unhealthy behaviours in adolescence and increased uptake of health services throughout adult life.3 4 Observational evidence suggests that parenting has the potential to influence susceptibility to a wide range of illnesses throughout life,5 6 and this may be mediated through modifications to the child’s stress response 7 and through altered gene expression.8

The development and evaluation of interventions to help parents to parent in a way that enhances their child’s development, like that assessed in the linked randomised controlled trial by Day and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.e1107 …

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