Volunteer Opportunity: Tuning in to Toddlers parenting program research study

The Tuning in to Toddlers (TOTS) study is a randomised controlled trial of a parenting program teaching parents of toddlers to recognise, understand and respond to their child’s emotions. The aim of the program is to improve emotional communication, to foster strong parent-child connection and help children develop emotional competence as well as improve social and behavioural functioning. We are looking for volunteers to assist with coding the parent-child interactions that have been recorded in observation assessments at base-line and 15 month follow-up that enable the intervention to be evaluated.

TOTS is an innovative group parenting program, that is based on the evidence-based Tuning in to Kids program (www.tuningintokids.org.au). Evaluation of the program is to establish efficacy and uses parent-report on questionnaires as well as observation assessments of parent-toddler interactions in a series of structured tasks designed to elicit different emotions in the child. These observation assessments are being coded for attachment style, parent emotion socialisation, parent-child interaction, and child emotion regulation.

We are seeking 4-5 volunteers who are interested in the emotional life of families and who want to know more about attachment, parenting and child emotion regulation. The volunteer roles would suit students studying Psychology/Social-Work/Health Science or a related field. Volunteers will help with coding and other administrative tasks around evaluation of the program. Volunteers will be trained in validated coding methods and then be asked to provide half a day a week of time or a day a week a fortnight for 4-8 months (with flexibility according to their own study demands). Volunteers will also be given a free place in the professional training workshop for the Tuning in to Kids parenting program.

TOTS is run through Mindful, Centre for Training and Research in Developmental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne and based at the Travencore site of the Child and Mental Health Service as part of the Royal Children’s Hospital. Volunteers will need to have a current police check and Working with Children Check if appointed.

Application details

If you are interested, please send an up-to-date CV and covering letter to Associate Professor Sophie Havighurst, Principal Investigator on TOTS by COB Thursday 15th April (sophie.h@unimelb.edu.au).

Interviews will be held during the last two weeks of April for the volunteer roles.