Finding trustworthy sources of parenting research

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Finding trustworthy sources of parenting research

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When parents are reading about children’s research, they should consider the source – where are they reading this information? Is it the New York Times? Is it WebMD? Or is it a blogger with a special interest? Because sometimes, it matters. In general, the major news organizations present this information in a more accurate and thorough manner. But there are some caveats. For instance, science journalist in general – those are people who have some kind of scientific training – generally provide coverage that is more accurate, and nuanced and thorough. So if you see a political columnist writing about breastfeeding, you should be wary. If you see an interior decorator speaking about prenatal toxins, be wary. Also, I find when children’s health research is featured in strange or unusual places, for instance, the style section, the living section – you should be suspicious. I also find it curious that we don’t often find critical analysis or discussion of parenting advice or children’s health in the way that we do with other topics – say business or politics, or even athletics. That’s just missing from the media right now.

View Polly Palumbo, PhD's video on Finding trustworthy sources of parenting research...

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Polly Palumbo, PhD

Psychologist

Polly Palumbo, PhD, is a former research psychologist and founder of Momma Data, a non-profit organization that tracks the parenting media and checks on the scientific evidence behind claims about children’s health and well-being. As a research consultant, she reviews and decodes studies for parents, educators, journalists and organizations. In the past she’s conducted and collaborated on numerous research projects in psychology, health and education across academia, government and the private sector and has co-authored articles in leading academic journals and texts.  As an outspoken critic of the parenting media, the only thing she enjoys better than reading a great study is debunking a bad one on her Momma Data blog. It’s her mission to flush out misinformation in the media and coach parents how to judge news and evidence about kids.      

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