Playgroup participation and social support outcomes for mothers of young children: A longitudinal cohort study

Kirsten Hancock, Nadia Cunningham, David Lawrence, D. Zarb, Stephen Zubrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Hancock et al. Objective: This study aimed to examine friendship networks and social support outcomes for mothers according to patterns of playgroup participation. Methods: Data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children were used to examine the extent to which patterns of playgroup participation across the ages of 3-19 months (Wave 1) and 2-3 years (Wave 2) were associated with social support outcomes for mothers at Wave 3 (4-5 years) and four years later at Wave 5 (8-9 years). Analyses were adjusted for initial friendship attachments at Wave 1 and other socio-demographic characteristics. Results: Log-binomial regression models estimating relative risks showed that mothers who never participated in a playgroup, or who participated at either Wave 1 or Wave 2 only, were 1.7 and 1.8 times as likely to report having no support from friends when the child was 4-5 years, and 2.0 times as likely to have no support at age 8-9 years, compared with mothers who persistently participated in playgroup at both Wave 1 and Wave 2. Conclusion: These results provide evidence that persistent playgroup participation may acts as a protective factor against poor social support outcomes. Socially isolated parents may find playgroups a useful resource to build their social support networks. Copyright:
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0133007
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2015


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