May 3, 2021
Nursing doctoral student hopes research will help establish nursing interventions for stronger bonds between child and caregiver
UCalgary Nursing doctoral student Amelia Potter-Dickey has been awarded the distinguished CIHR Banting and Best Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her research focused on parenting and attachment patterns in preschool-aged children. The funding will go toward a study entitled, “How Does Parenting Interact with Genetic Differential Susceptibility in Predicting Attachment Patterns in Preschool-Aged Children?”
Potter-Dickey’s passion for population and community health nursing, focused on children and families, impelled her to pursue a graduate nursing education.
“Healthy child development is a determinant of population health and essential for the health and wealth of societies. I believe that research can inform evidence-based practice and enable nurses to be change agents at the population and health system levels,” she says.
Potter-Dickey is curious about what predicts and influences attachment patterns in children.
“My research is focused on understanding the impact that children’s genotype contributes to attachment pattern development. This will advance our ability to target programs and nursing interventions to specific populations based on a child’s genotype and caregiving environments.”
The three-year award ($30,000 per year) is dedicated to the memory of Sir Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best, honouring them as co-discoverers of insulin and as leaders in other fields of health research.
Potter-Dickey hopes the research enabled by the funding will provide a foundation to establish the most effective nursing interventions for stronger bonds between a child and the caregiver.
“Promoting secure attachment patterns is a public health-level goal,” she says. “It is associated with lifelong health and a reduced likelihood of all-cause morbidity, chronic inflammation, coronary artery disease and an array of mental disorders.”