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The benefit for parents of engaging in structured parent-infant activities compared to a control group: an exploratory study

You are invited to take part in a research study looking at the impact on parents of taking part in structured parent-baby activities. Before you decide if you want to complete the research, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information and decide if you wish to take part in the research. Feel free to ask any questions and talk to others before you decide whether to take part.

Who will conduct the research?

The research is an online study conducted by Hannah Dowling a doctorate student on a Clinical Psychology course at the University of Manchester who is being supervised by Dr Anja Wittkowski and Dr Debbie Smith.

Why is the research being done?

The purpose of the research is to explore whether engaging in structured parent-baby activities has any impact on a parent such as yourself in relation to your confidence, mood, wellbeing and bonding with your child.

Who can take part in the study?

If you are a parent of a child under the age of 12 months you will be able to take part in this study if you so wish.

We are interested in comparing the experiences of those of you who are starting a Water Babies' beginner's class, Jo Jingles' 'jingle babies' class and those of you who are NOT doing either of these classes with your baby.

If your baby is about to start a Water Babies' beginner class or Jo Jingles' beginner class then the person taking part in this study should be the one who accompanies your baby to this activity.

What does the research involve?

You will be asked to complete a series of 6 short questionnaires, at time point one and a series of 4 questionnaires at time points two and three. If you are just about to start a Water Babies or Jo Jingles class ideally, you will need to complete the first set of questionnaires before the first class takes place and the second set of four questionnaires will need to be completed at the end of the classes. The final set of four questionnaires will then be sent to you approximately 10-12 weeks after you have completed the second set of four questionnaires.

The questionnaires will ask questions about your confidence in your ability to parent, your mood, wellbeing and bonding. The questionnaires will take 15 minutes to complete at time point one and 5-10 minutes to complete at time points 2 and 3.

At the three-month follow-up, you will also be offered the chance to take part in a telephone interview to further explore the questions in the questionnaire. It is anticipated that of those of you who agree to be contacted to take part in the interview, 30 will be randomly selected to take part in the interview element of the study.

How is confidentiality maintained?

All answers will be anonymised. We will ask you for a contact email address so the link for the second and third set of questionnaires can be emailed to you; however, your email address will not be used for any other purpose other than to send you the second and third set of questionnaires and it will be stored completely separate from your questionnaire answers. Neither Water Babies nor Jo Jingles will see any of your answers or be involved in the collecting and analysing of any of the data generated during the study. All data will be stored securely and anonymously on encrypted computers at the University of Manchester. All data will be anonymised before it is published so that no one person can be identified by any of the data when it is made public either as part of my doctorate thesis, in academic journal articles or as part of any conference publications.

What happens if I change my mind?

You are free to withdraw from the study at any time, without giving a reason.

What are the benefits of taking part in this study?

The study will add to our understanding of any benefits for parents of engaging in structured parent-baby activities.

What are the risks if taking part in this study?

The only risk is that you may be upset by your answers to some questions.

What if I get upset by the questions asked?

If any of your answers to the questions upset or worry you, please contact your GP, health visitor, midwife or phone NHS direct on 0845 4647. Alternatively you could phone the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (UK) or 1850 60 90 90 (ROI).

Will I be paid for taking part in this study?

No. However everyone who completes the first two sets of questionnaires will have the opportunity to be entered into a prize draw to win either a free Water Babies or free Jo Jingles course. Everyone who completes all three sets of questionnaires will ALSO have the opportunity to be entered into a second prize draw to win high street vouchers.

Finally, if you are selected to take part in an interview you will be given a £10 high street voucher for your time and the inconvenience of taking part.

Will the results of the research be published?

The results will be published as publications in peer reviewed journals and be presented at conferences. The results will also be made available on both the Water Babies and Jo Jingles websites.

What if I want to make a complaint?

If you have a concern about any aspect of the study you can contact Hannah Dowling via email: Hannah.dowling@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk. If she is unable to help you or if you wish to make a complaint about the study please contact the Research Practice and Governance Co-ordinator by either writing to 'The Research Practice and Governance Co-ordinator, Research Office, Christie Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL', by emailing: Research-Governance@manchester.ac.uk, or by telephoning 0161 275 7583 or 275 8093.


The legal liability of the sponsor and for employees of the University of Manchester will be covered by the Public, Products and Employer's Liability Policy held by the University of Manchester.

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed by the University of Manchester research ethics committee 1 and has been given ethical approval.

Contact for further information

If you have any questions about the study contact Hannah on Hannah.dowling@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk or anja.wittkowski@manchester.ac.uk.

NOTE: It is suggested that you print this page for your reference.

Please click here to start the study