Harder Than Rocket Science? The Science of Designing and Implementing Strong Family-Friendly Policies

  • Patricia O’CampoEmail author
Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI)


Berkman and O’Donnell (Chap. 12) effectively argue that improvements in infant and child health will only come about with supportive family national ­policies. I pick up on two themes from the paper that identify potential gaps in the ­current literature. First, drawing from Berkman and O’Donnell’s conceptual ­framework, I review the “state of the evidence” for key macro-social drivers of ­pro-family policies. Despite widespread recognition that macro-social are critical drivers of population well-being, a very small proportion of our research incorporates consideration of these contextual factors due, in part, to an overreliance on studies at the individual level in public health. Second, I build on their call for more evaluation of pro-family policies. In particular, I examine whether the tools we have to undertake such evaluations are adequately developed. We must take advantage of and help to refine emerging evaluation methods that accommodate complex multilevel policies and programs if we are to identify and implement effective family-friendly policies.


Health Inequity Family Policy Critical Ingredient Realist Review Social Epidemiology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research on Inner City HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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