Families, Relationships and Societies
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The relationship between social support and parent identity in community playgroups

Author: Cris Townley1
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  • 1 University of New South Wales, , Australia
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Community playgroups are member-run parenting groups in Australia, aligned with early childhood services. Parents and carers meet weekly with their babies, toddlers and preschool children. Through interviews with mothers who attend community playgroups, I find that these playgroups are important sites of social support for parents. Social support is interwoven with parental and family identity, and the shift in identity when becoming a parent. This is demonstrated through three themes: making a connection, shared practices and language, and judgement and respect. Parents seek out a playgroup in which to belong, where they feel included and respected. These findings can inform the creation and operation of parenting groups.

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