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The AADAPT study is trying to find out whether a new way to support parents aged 16-24 years who are experiencing low mood and stress is helpful. We would like to see whether an online package of information and activities, supported by volunteer parents who were previously young parents themselves (Parent Buddies) is more helpful than a control group.








What is AADAPT?

A new baby can completely change lots of different parts of our life. Some can be exciting changes but there might be challenges to. Having a baby can change how we feel about ourselves, our body, our relationships with other people and how we spend our time.

Low mood (or some people say depression) can look different for different people, but is often described as feeling down, stressed, exhausted, struggling with sleep and having lots of aches and pains. Low mood can happen for lots of reasons including stress in other parts of our life, arguments with family or money worries. The important thing is that feeling low or stressed is noone's fault and it is possible to get help. 

AADAPT is a short series of sessions to help parents understand the TRAPs that keep us stuck feeling low. AADAPT gives practical ideas about small changes we can make to feel better. It also gives some information on how to build a baby’s brain every day. 

Who has put together AADAPT? 

A team at the Universities of Oxford and Exeter who have lots of experience working with people with low mood. They asked young parents who felt low when they had a baby to help them make AADAPT.

The Different Groups

Parents will either have access to AADAPT Online or AADAPT Self-Guided and this will be decided at random by a computer.

AADAPT Online: Parents will be given access to six online sessions and six weekly conversations with a Parent Buddy. Learning new ideas and trying them out can feel really hard and can feel even harder when someone has low mood and a small baby. Buddies will help parents work through the AADAPT sessions.

AADAPT Self-Guided (control arm): Parents will be given access to the same six sessions via email and or in the post 12 weeks after being allocated to this group. They can work through these at their own pace. They will not be supported by a Parent Buddy volunteer.


  • Are you aged 16-24 years?
  • Have you had a baby born in the last 12 months?
  • Do you feel low, stressed out, have no energy, or don't enjoy things anymore?

If you would like to find out more please click here

If you have questions please email the team or call us on 01865 618330

Interested in being a parent buddy?

We are currently looking for:

Parents who are aged 24 – 35 years and had their first child when they were under 25 years old. Parents will also have experienced low mood at some point whilst being a parent (does not have to have been formally diagnosed).

Parent Buddies will receive online training from the team about the role of being a Parent Buddy and develop skills to support young parents who are experiencing low mood and are working through AADAPT-Online. The training will take place online; this will be roughly 10 hours of small group work and 7 hours of homework activities.

Once the team and the Parent Buddy feel ready they will support one or two Mentees at the same time through AADAPT Online by making regular contact with their Mentee(s) using Teams and/or Messenger function for up to 10 weeks. The sessions might vary in length, from 10-20 minutes, depending on how the Mentee chooses to chat with their Buddy.

Buddies will continue to be supported by the research team throughout the study and will attend regular online group supervision sessions.

Reimbursement will be given for the time spent completing the training sessions, homework activities and the sessions of support provided to Mentees.

For those who are interested in being a Parent Buddy please visit: