A Day in the Life of a PFL Parent

An additional Irish Research Council funded study of parenting stress and coping was conducted with parents in the Preparing for Life Programme. Early findings at six months suggested that the PFL programme may have an impact on parenting stress. Called “A Day in the Life of a PFL Parent”, this study combined a number of different methods to provide a more in-depth investigation of these findings with parents in the PFL high and low treatment groups. Each participant was invited to wear a wrist-mounted wireless biosensor, which tracked their electro-dermal activity (EDA), motion and skin temperature over one full day. EDA increases during states of emotional arousal and decreases during calm, quiet states (Diamond, Fagundes & Cribbet, 2012). It is considered a good indicator of the stress response (Healey & Picard, 2005).  After wearing the sensor, the participant completed a diary-style questionnaire called the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM; Kahneman, 2004) which facilitated the detailed description of participants’ activities, interactions and emotions during the time when they wore the sensor. Finally, each participant completed the Parenting Stress Index (PSI; Abidin, 1995); a 36-item questionnaire designed to measure stress in parents.

Results from the day in the life of a PFL parent

101 of the PFL families took part in the day in the life of a PFL parent study. The study found that mothers in the high treatment group reported higher positive affect over the course of the study day than the control group. However, the intervention had no impact on global well-being as measured by life satisfaction and parenting stressed. Likewise the intervention had no impact on experienced negative affect using episodic reports derived from the day reconstruction

Detailed results from this study can be found here