Parenting & Child Wellbeing Conference

21st June 2011

Effective parenting and child well-being: understanding the evidence base

A one day conference for researchers, policy makers and those working to support families and parents.

Tuesday 21 June, 2011
Institute of Education, Jeffery Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL


Parents have an enormous influence over the development, education, health and well being of their children. Rapid social, demographic and economic changes over recent decades mean that the demands and pressures on parents are changing. It is important that policies designed to support parents and improve the quality of parenting have a secure evidence base and are relevant to the circumstances of today's families. In Britain we are fortunate to have uniquely detailed longitudinal evidence from the cohort studies and other longitudinal studies on the ways that parenting and childhood circumstances can impact on individuals through the life course. These studies also enable us to understand how families and parenting are changing over time. This conference provides an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and those influencing policy to come together to share information about the latest research evidence and discuss implications for policy. 

Speakers include

  • Barbara Maughan - MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London Institute of Psychiatry
  • Catharine Cresswell - MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow, University of Reading
  • Marjorie Smith - Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education
  • Frances Gardner - Department of Social Policy & Social Work, University of Oxford
  • Lucinda Platt - Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education
  • Adrienne Burgess - Head of Research, The Fatherhood Institute
  • Margaret O'Brien - Centre for Research on the Child and the Family, University of East Anglia
  • Yuan Ren – Department for Education
  • Lorraine Dearden - Institute of Fiscal Studies and Dept for Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education
  • John Vorhaus - National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, Institute of Education


The conference aimed to:

  • provide an opportunity for the sharing of recent research findings on effective parenting based on sound empirical evidence
  • help understand the processes by which parenting influences healthy development and promotes well-being for children
  • challenge traditional attitudes and custom and practice that is not evidence based
  • define future priorities for policies to support parents and promote effective parenting in the current climate of austerity
  • provide evidence about the role of parents in fostering children's cognitive development and learning.

The conference will be of interest to

  • Researchers with a substantive interest in parenting
  • Practitioners who are working to support parents and promote effective parenting
  • Local Authority officers with responsibility for helping children to achieve more, reducing inequality and supporting the vulnerable and disadvantaged
  • Those working with vulnerable children and families with multiple problems
  • Charities and funding organisations interested in promoting effective parenting
  • Those involved in influencing and making policy relating to parenting and child well being

This conference was organised by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London.