Designing effective interventions for working parents: A web-based survey of parents in the UK workforce

Matthew R. Sanders, Divna M. Haslam, Rachel Calam, Clare Southwell, Helen M. Stallman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine working parents' experiences and attitudes and to determine if these differ according to gender. Three areas were investigated: level of reported difficulties in parenting and balancing work and family; parental perceptions about the workplace as a context for the delivery of parenting support; and employee preferences for intervention features. Design/methodology/approach - In total, 721 employed parents in the UK were recruited via their organisation and completed a web-based survey. Findings - A total of 41 percent of parents reported their children had significant behaviour problems and 85 percent stated that worksite parenting interventions should be made available. A clear preference was found for evidence-based interventions delivered by trained practitioners. The vast majority of men (86 percent) and women (90 percent) reported they would attend a workplace parenting intervention if one were available. Originality/value - The need to tailor programmes to the needs of parents is increasingly accepted. This paper analyses the potential for tailoring an evidence-based programme for parents in the workplace. It suggests that the provision of workplace parenting programmes may benefit the organisation and the individual and increase parental access to services. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)186-200
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Children's Services
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Consumer preferences
    • Employee preferences
    • Parenting interventions
    • Parents
    • Quality of life
    • Work and family conflict
    • Work-family balance
    • Working parents


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