New parents are being invited to participate in an interactive online game that aims to better equip them for their parenting journey.
The game, titled ‘Choose your Own Parenting Experience’, has been designed by University of Newcastle psychology researchers, Jaime Wroe and Miranda Cashin.
It is modelled off ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books, allowing users’ decisions to determine their path through the game.
Miranda Cashin said the game, in its pilot stage of development, is focused at those in the first postnatal year.
“Being a new parent is not an easy gig,” she said.
“There is so much conflicting information about how to best care for your baby and everyone is an expert and wants to give you their opinion.
“As a new parent how do you know what to do?”
The game has two scenarios – one on sleep and attachment, and the other on play – which have hundreds of possible pathways to explore.
Links to support and additional education information are presented throughout.
“We’ve made it because we know from the research things like psychoeducation is really beneficial for parents in that transition to parenthood in the first few months,” she said.
“But there’s a lot of barriers in the way of getting parents to actually engage with those sort of programs and that information.
“For example, a lot of the programs are targeted at mums, which leaves the dads out. It’s important to target the mums, but it leaves out 50 per cent of the population.”
Choose your Own Parenting Experience is played online, but the researchers hope to develop it into a publicly available app.
“We wanted to create something that would reach the parents directly,” Ms Cashin said.
“Something that was more learning in simulation and gamifying psychoeducation, to make it more fun and interactive.”
User feedback is needed to progress the study.
To take part visit: www.findlab.net.au/the-cope-study
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