Rachel Calam's work focusses on links between parenting and child outcomes, and has included work on relationships between parental expressed emotion, attributions and behaviour problems in children.More recent studies have all focussed on parenting interventions. Studies of media based parenting interventions in collaboration with the University of Queensland, Australia have included the Home Office funded Great Parenting Experiments, which involved over 700 families. These have shown the potential for digital technologies, media and internet-based approaches to contribute to public health level intervention, and have demonstrated the ability of interventions of this kind to overcome barriers to entry associated with face to face parenting interventions. Her work now focusses on reaching under-served groups, including families in low and middle income countries and families displaced by war.
Doctoral students are working on predictors of access and techniques to improve uptake and enagement with evidence-based parenting interventions, including low resource settings internationally. This work has been extended to consider parenting through displacement in the context of the Syrian conflict. Work is under way to extend the use of Triple P for parents with a wide range of difficulties, eg., children with illnesses, including cancer and diabetes, and parents with mental health difficulties. A recent NIHR funded study trialled impact on quality of life of Triple P for parents of children with asthma. We have recently trialled Baby Triple P for mothers experiencing postnatal depression, and a new large scale study in Glasgow, THRIVE, takes this further. Collaboration on an HTA award enabled an evidence synthesis of quality of life in children of parents with serious mental illness, and an MRC grant on parenting an bipolar disorder is under way with colleagues at the Spectrum Centre at Lancaster University. More details of all studies are on the Parenting and Families Research Group website. www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/pfrg
Rachel Calam is part of an interdisciplinary team which developed "In My Shoes", a computer-assisted interview for children. www.inmyshoes.org.uk. The aim of this is to help children who would otherwise have difficulties in communicating to talk about their experiences, including maltreatment. In My Shoes is now being disseminated nationally by Child and Family Training Services as part of the National Framework for the Assessment of Children. This approach is now being tested in a collaborative grant with colleagues at Uppsala University funded by the Swedish Research Council.
She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) Child Health Research Network, and the Diabetes and Obesity Research Network.
- Parental mental health
- Child behaviour difficulties and parenting
- Public health models of intervention