Hartbeeps, an established highly interactive music and multi-sensory programme for babies and young children and its impact on depression, anxiety, stress, wellbeing and parenting self-efficacy among socially disadvantaged mothers
There is increasing awareness of the positive role that the arts can play in mental health and wellbeing which is shown among the rapidly accumulating evidence base. Singing, music and dance have also received research attention in relation to its ability to aid recovery from mental illness.
Parental responsiveness and self-efficacy can also play an important role in parental coping ability and can also impact a child’s future health and developmental outcomes especially when families are from socially disadvantaged groups. While many families who identify as having such risk factors do well, preventative programmes aimed at improving knowledge and capacity among parents will better serve them when facing future challenges and previous research has shown music based parenting programmes to be a well accepted intervention for this population.
I am in a fortunate position to be able to self fund my PhD in this area of research that is of particular interest to me.
What is your ideal Research outcome?
I hope to discover that attendance at Hartbeeps by socially disadvantaged mothers and their babies will assist in improving mood, wellbeing, stress and parenting self-efficacy among this population group.
Dr Fiona Lynn and Dr Jenny McNeill
Why did you choose this PhD and why at Queen’s?
I have returned to education following a 14 year career as a registered paediatric nurse, I am originally from Cambridge, and having completed my undergraduate study at Liverpool John Moores University, my nursing career took me to various locations within England, Northern Ireland and Australia in both hospital and community settings, then telephone triage, disability assessment and epidemiology research at the University of Cambridge. It was this research role that sparked my interest in pursuing a PhD role and chose Queens because of their excellent reputation and achievements and I was keen to become a part of the School of Nursing and Midwifery for this next chapter of my career.
How have you been supported at Queen’s?
At this very early stage in my 1st year of my part time study, I have not yet had the opportunity to pursue any training or networking opportunities, but with time, I anticipate Queen’s will offer a plethora of opportunities for me to develop as a researcher and to be able to network with others in my field.
Can you describe the postgraduate community in the School and at Queen’s?
Already in my first year, despite the challenges Covid have presented, the staff at the School of Nursing and Midwifery have ensured strong virtual support systems are in place, to ensure that you don’t feel isolated when entering the new world of academia in these unprecedented times when all usual social and meeting events are currently unavailable in their usual formats. I look forward to availing of all of the services of The Graduate School when they become available again face to face.
Where do you hope your PhD will lead?
I hope that my PhD will assist me in a career of combined post doctoral research and lecturing opportunities in maternal and child health.
Anything else you would like to add or advice to new PGR students?
Even at this early stage in my PhD, the insight I can offer to new students is utilise all of the support available, there are plenty of staff members and fellow students willing to listen, to support you, and share their wisdom. Also plan your time carefully, I am studying part time alongside my employment and it is vital to carve out clear work, study and leisure time with family and learn to be kind to yourself as it is intense combining everything but highly fulfilling at the same time.