The New Fathers and Mothers Study: Well-being, parenting and children's self-regulation 2014-2018.

Dataset

Description

This multi-method study sought to investigate the relations between parental wellbeing, parenting behaviour and children’s self-regulation in the first two years of life. First-time expectant parents in the East of England, New York State and the Netherlands completed an online questionnaire and in-person interview during the final month of their pregnancy (estimated as 1-month before the due date). The families were then contacted to participate in a 4-month follow-up questionnaire and home visit. The home visit consisted of observations of parent-child interactions, parental interviews and a task designed to measure infant attention. Ten months later the families participated in a 14-month questionnaire and home visit. The home visit consisted of a set of parent-child observations, parental interviews and cognitive tests, and a battery of tasks to measure the target child’s executive function. Finally, 20 months later the families participated in a 24-month questionnaire and home visit. This final home visit consisted of a set of parent-child observations, parental interviews and a battery of tasks designed to measure the target child’s executive function.
Early childhood conduct problems are very common and predict multiple adverse life-course outcomes, such that understanding their origins is an urgent challenge. This proposal extends the applicants' previous work on family influences on children's abilities to regulate their thoughts and behaviours in several ways: by focusing on the first two years of life; by examining effects of paternal as well as maternal influences; by integrating this cognitive perspective with the co-investigators' expertise in assessing individual differences at biological and social levels; and finally by adopting a multi-site design that provides a stringent test of the generalisability of study findings. A sample of 400 expectant mothers and their partners (200 in the UK and 100 in the USA and the Netherlands) will be recruited using an enriched sampling design to maximize the participation of expectant parents showing low levels of well-being. Self-regulatory skills will be assessed using validated experimental methods. We hope to examine the complex interplay between a range of social factors (e.g., quality of family relationships), cognitive factors (in both parents and infants) and biological factors (maternal and infant levels of the stress hormone cortisol) as predictors of infant adjustment and well-being. A key strength of the study is its inclusion of fathers, as many basic questions regarding parental influences remain unanswered: For example are the relations between parental predictors and infant outcomes similar in nature and magnitude for fathers and mothers? Building on the rapid growth of studies that highlight variation in children's susceptibility to environmental influences, the proposed study will explore contrasts in the nature and magnitude of family predictors of infant adjustment that relate to characteristics of the infant (e.g., stress reactivity), the parent (e.g., parenting style) and the culture (e.g., level of societal support for individuals making the transition to parenthood).
Date made available9 Oct 2018
PublisherUK Data Service
Temporal coverage1 Oct 2014 - 1 Apr 2018
Date of data production9 Oct 2018
Geographical coverageUnited Kingdom, United States, Netherlands

Researchers

Colleges, School and Institutes