This semester, I started off with no ideas or directions for what I wanted to research. However, a few weeks of meetings and a few interesting articles later, I felt like I had a solid grasp on my research question: how does trauma impact the parent-child relationship and how can one mitigate that impact? As I have gathered more articles, one thing has become clear: trauma does have a negative impact on the parent-child relationship, and traumatic experiences are extremely common in low-income and homeless families. So, I now feel like my research has taken a turn for the more responsive side of things. It is no longer about the question of whether or not these parent-child relationships are strained, it is now the question of how can Genesis Home mitigate that strain and improve the parent-child relationship? The research I have conducted so far outlines the vast importance of positive parenting in a healthy parent-child relationship.
Because my research has been rather varied and led me in different directions, I am hoping to create a short annotated bibliography for the team by the end of this semester. I have found lots of research on positive parenting and the encouragement of positive parenting in the context of homelessness, so I would like to create some form of parent guide on positive parenting that can be given to families in Genesis Home by the end of this semester as well. Hopefully this guide could act as a resource for families and mothers as well as Genesis Home employees.
Looking ahead to next semester, I can see my research heading in a slightly different direction. One of our Genesis Home partners posed an interesting question at a meeting a few weeks ago: when you see something that is not appropriate going on between a parent and a child, what is the best and most efficacious way to intervene? Intervening with parents is an extremely sensitive topic, and must be handled with tact. Thus, I would like to research the best intervention methods, both intervention prior to inappropriate events and preemptive interventions, to help promote healthy parent-child relationships.