MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Disseminating early years research: an illustrative case study

    O'Connor, Siobhan and McGilloway, Sinéad and Hickey, Grainne and Barwick, Melanie (2021) Disseminating early years research: an illustrative case study. Journal of Children’s Services, 16 (1). pp. 56-73. ISSN 1746-6660

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    Purpose – This paper aims to outline a knowledge translation (KT) case study undertaken as part of a multi-component research programme aimed at evaluating new parenting supports in the earliest years. The study aimed to: explore the influencing factors relating to research use in an early years context; and to use the findings, at least in part, to execute an integrated KT plan – to promote stakeholder engagement, greater research visibility and to enhance the understanding of findings emerging from the research programme. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed-methods study was embedded within a large-scale, longitudinal research programme. In the present study, a national survey (n = 162) was administered to stakeholders working with children and families throughout Ireland. A series of oneto- one interviews were also undertaken (n = 37) to amplify the survey findings. Also, one focus group was carried out with parents (n = 8) and one with members of the research team (n = 3). Several dissemination strategies were concurrently developed, executed and evaluated, based partly on survey and interview findings and guided by the knowledge translation planning template (Barwick, 2008; 2013; 2019). Findings – The main factors influencing the dissemination of evidence, as identified by the stakeholders – were: a lack of resources; an under-developed understanding of research use and dissemination; insufficient collaboration and communication; and conflicting stakeholder priorities. Despite these challenges, the research programme was found to benefit from a multi-component KT plan to achieve the outlined dissemination goals. Practical implications – The KT planning process allowed the research team to be more accountable, introspective and to work more efficiently. This helped increase the likelihood of more targeted and successful dissemination of the research findings, delivering a better return on research investment. Originality/value – This is the first study of its kind (to our knowledge) to provide important insights for stakeholders in Ireland and elsewhere about how to improve the dissemination process. Effective KT planning can ultimately help to bridge the research-policy-practice gap and enable the effective translation of high-quality evidence in the early years’ sector to enhance outcomes for families in the shorter and longer-term.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Prevention; Dissemination; Intervention; Translation; Parenting; KT;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 14597
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Siobhan O'Connor
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2021 10:26
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Children’s Services
    Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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