The availability of support networks within neighbourhoods and communities are linked to a mother’s positive wellbeing, according to researchers from The University of Western Australia.
Lead author of the study, Dr Cecily Strange, said there has been a decrease in these support networks in recent years, as well as less face-to-face contact with family and friends outside of the home.
“There are several factors affecting this, such as mothers now returning to the workforce earlier, older women staying in the workforce longer and increasing migration and mobility in recent years that has fragmented families,” she said.
Dr Strange and her research team surveyed 313 Perth mothers of children aged up to five years old. The findings suggest that supportive networks developed through mothers’ groups in particular, help parents cope with the challenges of parenting young children and builds community connectedness.
“It is becoming increasingly important to help parents with young children meet other families and develop social interaction in their communities,” Dr Strange concludes.
The research indicates that government and non-government agencies working with families with young children needed to plan and develop strategies to help mothers find supportive parenting groups in local communities.
Read more here: The University of Western Australia.