New Parenting Booklet Puts Decades of Research into Easy-to-Read Guide

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) today released a valuable new parenting booklet that incorporates three decades of research on effective parenting techniques and healthy child development.

Adventures in Parenting: How Responding, Preventing, Monitoring, Mentoring, and Modeling Can Help You Be a Successful Parent highlights many of the toughest challenges that parents face in rearing happy and healthy children and suggests ways to become a more effective, more consistent, and more attentive parent.

"Parenting is the most important job in the world," said Duane Alexander, M.D., director of the NICHD. " Adventures in Parenting explains what we have learned from parenting research and shows parents how to put this knowledge into practice in their own lives, to help build strong relationships with their children that will last into adulthood."

This booklet offers strategies on parenting practices that are based on scientific research that can be used by parents and guardians of children of any age. It also includes stories of how some parents have incorporated these strategies into their own day-to-day parenting activities, as well as insights from parenting experts.

" Adventures in Parenting gives parents the tools they need to make their own decisions about parenting," commented Sharon Landesman Ramey, Ph.D., founding director of the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an NICHD grantee. "Most parents work very hard at being good parents, and most of them do an excellent job. Rather than giving a formula for parenting, this booklet gives a framework for making decisions about parenting that is based on scientific evidence."

Dr. Ramey served as co-chair of the 1999 conference, Parenting and the Child's World: Multiple Influences on Intellectual and Social-emotional Development, sponsored by the NICHD and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which served as the basis for Adventures in Parenting. Dr. Ramey and the other conference co-chairs, John G. Borkowski, Ph.D. and Marie Bristol-Power, Ph.D., were scientific advisors for the booklet.

Putting research-based knowledge about parenting into practice is what Adventures in Parenting is all about. The booklet encourages parents and others who have active roles in the lives of children to use the "RPM3" approach. RPM3 stands for:

  • Responding to your child in an appropriate matter;
  • Preventing risky behavior or problems before they arise;
  • Monitoring your child's contact with his or her surrounding world;
  • Mentoring your child to support and encourage desired behaviors; and
  • Modeling your own behavior to provide a consistent and positive example for children.

This new booklet will be a valuable resource to any parent, grandparent, or other person who is in a position to have a positive influence on the life of a child, from birth to age 14. Using the strategies and stories in Adventures in Parenting, parents get the information they need and can adapt that information to their own lives, to use with their own children.

"Not every approach works the same way for every child," explained Dr. Ramey. "We understood that when we were developing this booklet. Adventures in Parenting allows parents to make the decisions, but gives them a number of things to consider when making those decisions."

Adventures in Parenting is available free-of-charge by calling the NICHD Information Resource Center at 1-800-370-2943. It also is available online at


The NICHD is part of the National Institutes of Health, the biomedical research arm of the Federal government. The Institute sponsors research on development before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. NICHD publications, as well as information about the Institute, are available from the NICHD website,, or from the NICHD Information Resource Center, 1-800-370-2943; E-mail

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