I would like to know if there is something out there that collects scientific evidence for most types of "policies" or "interventions" in parenting.
I would love to see a repository with something like:

  1. Intervention/Treatment: Ferber method
    Hypothesis: Baby will cry less after applying treatment
    Strength of the evidence: low/medium/high
    Main studies confirming: link1, link2, ...
    Main studies refuting: link1, link2, ...
  2. Intervention/Treatment: Spanking kids for disciplinary purposes
    Hypothesis: Will affect negatively the baby's/kid's physical and mental health
    Strength of the evidence: low/medium/high
    Main studies confirming: link1, link2, ...
    Main studies refuting: link1, link2, ...

  3. ...

I would appreciate any pointers.

  • 2
    I don't know about anything like it. I wish it existed, though. And not for parenting only...
    – Dariusz
    Oct 6, 2014 at 6:48
  • What you've described is called a meta-study, usually they're published in Journals which you need to pay to access. Oct 6, 2014 at 10:29
  • I though that a meta study was topic specific ( in the example above we would need a meta study for each type of intervention). I think that what I have in mind then is a meta study of meta studies. That would be really helpful, especially if it updates periodically. Oct 6, 2014 at 13:52
  • 2
    You'd like a collection of meta studies, which wouldn't be particularly useful since you wouldn't be able to review them without having access to the journals they were published in (and in that case you can just search those). NHS Choices has a selection of topics and information on items which appear in the British media and frequently references studies, if that's useful to you? Oct 6, 2014 at 19:35
  • @JamesSnell I'm not familiar with NHS, could you be more specific? Oct 16, 2014 at 20:18

3 Answers 3


I don't think there's anything quite like what you're after. But the site http://www.parentingscience.com has a lot of critical (as opposed to systematic) reviews of a wide range of parenting practices, and cites all its references.

  • Could you include some examples please? Oct 1, 2015 at 15:45

It's not a repository, but https://scienceofmom.com/ is written by a PhD in nutrition, she has a pretty solid foundation in being able to read the scientific literature to see what claims are really supported, and which ones are not. She does not cover topics that go much past babyhood, though that might change as her children age.


There is a resource that will answer many of your questions; however, some things, like the risks of corporal punishment, are difficult to quantify.

The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry is the gold standard in America, and I believe the European equivalent is The Journal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour. Subscription includes online databases with search engines which can be customized (such as meta-analyses).

The cost? Gasp, $1,137 a year. It seems like they should put out a yearly highlight edition ...

Alternatively, you could go to a medical school library, but they often have admission fees.

  • 1
    Some journals and societies provide free summaries of important articles, like a "highlight edition", sometimes targetting journalists or policy makers. For example, here are the press releases from the Society for Research in Child Development (they publish the journal Child Development, which is every bit as prestigious as JCPP): srcd.org/policy-media/press-releases SRCD's policy briefings are also excellent summaries of current research: srcd.org/policy-media/policy-updates/policy-briefs Feb 23, 2017 at 4:47

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