Parenting trends in a digital age: A window into what matters to parents

What matters most to parents: The evidence, opportunities, and policy implications
Wednesday 25 July, 1420 – 1440


Julie Green
Parenting Research Centre, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne

Derek McCormack
Parenting Research Centre

Australian families now number in excess of 6 million (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2016). Nineteen per cent of the Australian population are aged 0–14 years (ABS, 2015). With parents no longer “going online” but rather “living online”, parent information-seeking on everyday issues regarding raising children has undergone a significant shift in the past decade.
The Raising Children Network is an online, non-commercial repository of evidence-based resources for Australian parents and professionals who work with families, funded as part of the Australian government’s social policy to support parents, families and children. Using as a case demonstration, this paper will demonstrate the importance of the development of reliable digital resources that are responsive to the demands of contemporary parenting in Australia. Issues of interest include raising children in rainbow and same-sex families, healthy screen time and quality media choices, gender dysphoria and parenting in the context of family violence. Evidence from website data and social media analytics will illustrate trends in online information-seeking behaviours of parents. Data from a large survey of Victorian parents (n=2,600) will highlight the impact of parent engagement with relatable and shareable resources across web, mobile and social media platforms on parent confidence, skill building and knowledge sharing.
The presentation will illustrate how strategic partnerships between the website and expert practitioners and service providers open up opportunities for knowledge translation on issues that matter most to parents, and the implications for policy.