family interaction research laboratory
focused on change within families over time and across transitions
We led the following research projects in Spring of 2010. You can learn more about the project leaders on our People page.
PAYS narrative lab - Over the last thirty years, research has emerged to conclude that fathers play a vital role in lives of children. However, few studies have focused on the perceptions of mothers and fathers in making sense of father behavior. In short, very little is known about the social construction of fatherhood and how such perceptions are influenced by child gender, culture, and remarriage. Two waves of narrative data were collected from the Parents and Youth Study when children were in the 7th and 10th grades. During the spring semester,
we finalized the transcripts for coding within the lab. Within
the narratives, 297 families in which mothers and
father/stepfathers identified three things the father/stepfather
did well and three things he needed to change or improve in his
parenting. Within this study we plan to break up the populations
(i.e., intact and step). The project manager for this work is Sarah Brunskill
and during the spring semester of 2010 she completed her
analyses of the PAYS narrative data.
Eating and divorce project - The Eating and Divorce project seeks to examine the connections between family eating habits (specifically family mealtimes and obesity risk factors), the family changes of parental divorce or separation, and media use. Participants
shared information about family routines, parenting, relationships with children and spouses, and eating habits through food diaries and interviews.
Goal for completed data collection and analysis is Spring 2010. During the Spring we will continue to recruit and collect data from children ages 8-12 and one of their parents for our study of family eating habits in married and divorcing families. The project managers for this effort are Michelle Weiner and Adria Banihashemi.
Fragile Families secondary analysis - The United States has the highest number of adolescent births compared to other industrialized countries. Although adolescent births have declined 34% for 14 years between 1991 and 2005, more recent data suggest this trend may have began to reverse. In 2006 over 435,000 children were born to adolescent mothers, and these children are at an increased risk of behavior problems and lower academic achievement. These problems may be partially due to decreasing support from the child's adolescent father, increased parenting stress, and negative parenting behaviors. The aim of the project is to utilize secondary data from the 1-year and 3-year Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study in order to examine the relationships between adolescent father support, mother's level of parenting stress, mother's parenting behavior, and child behavior problems. Data analysis is expected to occur in Spring 2010. The project manager is Wenson Fung.
Autism play coding group - The project manager for this work is Sarah Dovi.