Mums and daughters sought for study into risky behaviour

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Mums and daughters sought for study into risky behaviour


10 May 2012

10 May 2012

Volunteers are being sought for a University of the Sunshine Coast research project into whether boosting mother-daughter communication can reduce the risk-taking behaviours of adolescent girls.

The project, called “Knowing You, Knowing Me”, is being conducted by Professor of Psychology Mary Katsikitis, Associate Professor of Interactive Digital Media Christian Jones, and PhD student Melody Muscat.

The researchers are seeking about 50 mothers and their 12-14 year old daughters to take part in an interactive web-based set of activities starting from Mother’s Day (Sunday 13 May).

Professor Katsikitis said the “Knowing You, Knowing Me” project was about promoting healthy mother and daughter relationships using education and shared experiences to encourage positive modelling.

“Research shows that mother and daughter communication is the single most important factor associated with risk-taking behaviours among girls in the age group from 12-14,” she said.

“Creating positive communication between mothers and their daughters is more likely to reduce risks. In this study, we will tackle the risky behaviour of under-age drinking.”

Professor Katsikitis said volunteers for the three-week online project could register their interest by sending an email to

“Each week, we will cover topics such as communication, building healthy relationships and how to manage the social environment to reduce risk-taking behaviour,” she said.

“All participants will be asked to complete a pre-intervention survey, a post- intervention survey, and then a follow-up survey two months later.”

The first stage of the “Knowing You, Knowing Me” study involved a series of focus groups where both mothers and daughters discussed their relationship with each other. The findings indicated that communication could be improved and that the daughters still relied on their mothers to help them manage risky situations.

This project is funded by the auDA Foundation, Queensland Health, DRUG ARM and the DrinkSafe Coalition and findings from the 2009 focus groups have since been presented at national and international conferences.

This project has Ethics approval from the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Human Research Ethics Committee (EC00297). For more details about the research project contact Professor Mary Katsikitis, 07 54565034 or email

Terry Walsh

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