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date: 06 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The parenting a child receives has profound long-term impacts on that child’s life. The rates of child maltreatment globally are high. Evidence-based parenting programs have been demonstrated to have positive impacts on improving parenting style, whilst reducing childhood social, emotional, and behavioral problems. However, uptake in parenting interventions remains low, and governments have been reluctant to provide evidence-based parenting on a wide scale. This chapter aims, first, to show how the adoption of a public health approach to parenting can be considered wide-scale compassionate action, one that will reduce rates of child maltreatment (suffering), which is also cost-effective. Second, I argue that the next generation of evidence-based parenting programs need to be grounded in evolved, caring motivational systems and affiliative emotion processing, which requires an understanding of the evolved processes involved in parent–offspring caring and brain functioning. This new approach to parenting, “compassion-focused parenting,” will be described.

Keywords: parenting style, child maltreatment, evidence-based parenting program, public health, compassion-focused parenting, affect regulation

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