Research Alert: Web-Based Peer-Support for New Fathers
OCTOBER 27, 2017
BY: DELIA HAGAN, MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP
A new study out of the University of Newcastle (Fletcher, et al., 2017) highlights the potential of web-based peer support to engage new fathers in an Aboriginal community in New South Wales, Australia. As a part of the research process, twenty young fathers from the Aboriginal community were recruited to help build a curriculum of mobile phone-based text messages and web-based resources designed to provide mental health and parenting supports for other new fathers in the same community. The program’s emphasis on culturally relevant supports and a participatory approach that positioned young men as role models for one another seemed related to the positive feedback the researchers found in the program’s evaluations. Learn more about the study here.
This study raises important points about the potential for technology to increase access to supports, including relationships and mentoring, for people like new parents, whose schedules and life demands may make in-person mentoring a challenge. Has your mentoring program explored using text-messaging or web-based strategies to connect mentors and mentees? What challenges and/or possibilities has this brought to your mentoring work?
Fletcher, et al. (2017). Stayin’ on Track: The feasibility of developing internet and mobile phone-based resources to support young Aboriginal fathers. Australian Journal of Primary Health (23), 329-334.