HSBC Malta Foundation has donated over €15,000 to the University of Malta to fund a ground-breaking new research in the area of parenting of infants in the face of the changing social fabric where both set of parents are increasingly juggling full-time work and personal lives. The research seeks to understand the challenges that couples with young infants face especially during the infants’ first year when babies can be very demanding.
It is being carried out by Ingrid Grech Lanfranco under the supervision of Professor Angela Abela from the Department of Family Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing of the University of Malta and co-supervised by Professors Carolyn Pape Cowan and Philip Cowan from the University of Berkeley California.
The researcher will examine how parents of young infants can be supported during this important stage of the family life cycle. Since the start of the study, the research team has visited Well Baby Clinics on a daily basis in Mosta, Paola, Rabat, Floriana and Qormi respectively. Purposefully-designed questionnaires were given to parents of 8-month-old infants visiting the clinic for the baby’s second post-natal visit.
During a presentation ceremony held at the University, Prof Abela said: “The findings coming out of this important research, which focuses on early intervention, will inform evidence-based policies with regards to parenting and family life.” The University Rector Prof Alfred Vella expressed his satisfaction with the collaboration between the University of Malta and the prestigious University of California: Berkeley. He also thanked HSBC for their support.
This is the second financial donation HSBC Malta Foundation has made in less than a year in the area of medical research. Last September, it announced a donation of €84,000 for novel cancer treatment research. That study is being led by Dr Duncan Ayers from the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking. Both donations were chosen following a vote by all HSBC Malta staff members.
HSBC Malta CEO Andrew Beane said: “we are delighted to be working with the university to explore how social policy needs to adapt to an ever changing world. As a leading employer we are committed to operate a flexible and modern culture and set of work practices that supports new parents to achieve balance in their lives.”
Originally devised by Cowan & Cowan, the Parents as Partners programme focuses on the couple’s relationship as parents as well as partners and their respective relationship with their infant.