Saturday 24 June 2017

Early mentoring for parents lessens likelihood of problems for children

Marian Dennis and her son Jamie McClure Dennis took part in the Preparing for Life initiative. Photo: Conor Healy
Marian Dennis and her son Jamie McClure Dennis took part in the Preparing for Life initiative. Photo: Conor Healy
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Children whose parents receive mentoring are likely to have a higher IQ and less health and behaviour problems, a new early childhood programme has found.

The first results from the Preparing for Life initiative, which teaches parenting skills, show the impact of parent and family intervention in improving outcomes for children. The intervention was delivered in areas with 'low levels of school readiness' in Dublin 5 and Dublin 17. It mentored parents from midway through pregnancy until their children started primary school.

It found that by the age of four, the IQ of children whose parents participated was 10 points higher than the control group. They were also less likely to be overweight (23pc compared with 41pc) and had fewer behavioural problems (2pc compared with 17pc).

The programme, estimated to cost €2,000 per family per year, shows "significant and, in some cases, dramatic results", according to lead researcher Dr Orla Doyle.

Irish Independent

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