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Parenting and infant mental health promotion: teachers’ views

Lynn Carol Cuddihy (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries, UK)
Anna Waugh (Department of Nursing, University of the West of Scotland, Dumfries, UK)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to critically examine school teachers’ experiences and beliefs regarding parenting and infant mental health (IMH) promotion, starting with the research question: How do teachers in two secondary schools view their roles regarding parenting and IMH promotion?


Qualitative, exploratory focus groups were used with two groups of teachers that delivered personal social education (PSE) in schools.


Teachers currently have varying roles in PSE delivery. Interaction within focus groups can generate changes of opinions. Teachers do not promote parenting and IMH but are keen for support and training to do so to enable them to benefit future parents.

Research limitations/implications

This was a small-scale study. There was limited breadth of knowledge and experience of participants. The study highlights the need for further research and support and training for school-based staff in parenting promotion.

Social implications

The significance of parenting and IMH is well evidenced by theory, practice and policies. A potential strategy to prevent child developmental difficulties is to educate young people about parenting and IMH before they become parents.


No similar research was found in this area at the time of the study.



Cuddihy, L.C. and Waugh, A. (2017), "Parenting and infant mental health promotion: teachers’ views", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 72-77.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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