01:42pm Thursday 17 October 2019

2010 parents: what are they doing?

Queensland University of Technology researchers are surveying today’s parents to update research on ways that Australians parent their children for the first time in two decades by surveying Australian parents about their child-rearing strategies.

Dr Jeneva Ohan from QUT’s School of Psychology and Counselling said she has set up an online survey with the aim of finding out the impact of social change on parents and their children in 2010.

“Forty to fifty years ago, parents gave their children substantially more physical freedom to explore their neighbourhood independently and more unstructured time with playmates,” Dr Ohan said.

“Gradually, perceptions of neighbourhood safety for children has reduced and today’s parents usually have fenced yards and are well-aware of their child’s whereabouts, often driving them to and from structured activities.

“These changes mean today’s children have less unstructured time in which they can learn to busy themselves and go out to play and socialise with the neighbourhood children. These changes have implications for the way our children develop.”

Another major change in parents’ concerns over the past 20 years has been over the importance of secondary education for their children.

“Parents in the past placed less emphasis on their child going to university as higher education was not deemed necessary for a productive career. Now, the reality is a greater proportion of young adults have a university education than ever before, and parents feel the pressure to start their child on the road to academic success at an early age,” she said.

“Unfortunately, research has not kept pace with these marked shifts in how today’s parents parent their children, so this survey aims to find out what has happened in the past 20 years.”

Dr Ohan said mothers and fathers were invited to take part in the survey. The only qualification needed is a child in primary school. The survey is at http://survey.qut.edu.au/survey/169580/1ae7/

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1841 or n.widdowson@qut.edu.au.
** High res photo of Dr Ohan available for media use.

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