Interpreting parenting research

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Interpreting parenting research

When a new study comes out in the media, there are some very simple things parents can look at to see if they should pay attention to the study. First, was the study published in an academic journal? If it was, great. Next, look at who the subjects were. Who were the kids? How many were there? If the kids don´t seem like your children, then maybe you don´t need to pay attention. Also, what exactly did the researchers measure? If they are talking about music performance, did they check a rating from a teacher maybe, a parent, maybe an outside observer? The more measures, the better. Finally, play the skeptic. It is what scientists do. Ask yourself: Are there any other explanation for the results?

Watch Polly Palumbo, PhD's video on Interpreting parenting research...


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Polly Palumbo, PhD


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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