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Social connections among parents of pre-school-age children in an inner and outer area of Melbourne, Australia

Andrews, Fiona, Shelley, Julia, Rich, Stephanie and James, Alexandra 2015, Social connections among parents of pre-school-age children in an inner and outer area of Melbourne, Australia, Journal of social inclusion, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 35-54.

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Title Social connections among parents of pre-school-age children in an inner and outer area of Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Andrews, FionaORCID iD for Andrews, Fiona orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1702
Shelley, Julia
Rich, Stephanie
James, Alexandra
Journal name Journal of social inclusion
Volume number 6
Issue number 1
Start page 35
End page 54
Total pages 20
Publisher Griffith University ePress
Place of publication Meadowbrook, Qld
Publication date 2015-09
ISSN 1836-8808
Summary Abstract
Parents’ social connectedness is an important factor in child health and development outcomes and has been strongly linked to place. This study aimed to compare social connectedness amongst parents in inner versus outer-suburbs of Melbourne using a mixed methods approach. Parents were recruited via playgroups, mother’s groups and preschools and interviewed face- to-face regarding their social networks, with a second open-ended interview focusing on parents’ ideals and experiences of raising children in their current location. Parents in the two areas identified a similar number of contacts, but had differently structured networks. Outer-suburban parents were more likely than inner-suburban parents to have very few contacts, and to name their general practitioner as among their significant contacts. They were less likely to have more extended networks or to include neighbours among their contacts. Parents in both areas had met at least some of their network members through local organisations or services with outer-suburban parents having met a greater proportion of their contacts in this way. Qualitative interview data supported the network analysis revealing the different priorities parents placed on neighbours, barriers experienced in connecting with neighbours in the outer- suburbs and the consequent heavy reliance on organised activities to form social connections. The different types of social connections parents in inner and outer Melbourne made in relation to raising their preschool-aged children revealed in this study have implications for both service delivery and social planning of new developments.
Language eng
Field of Research 160301 Family and Household Studies
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Griffith University ePress
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078508

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.