Do daily diaries effectively measure family interactions among mothers, fathers, and adolescent children? Which family environments support healthy child well-being and parent engagement? This study supplements MDRC’s work on the Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) Demonstration and Evaluation, which is the first large-scale, multi-site experimental evaluation of marriage education programs that target low-income married couples and their families. SHM is a year-long program that includes a structured group course on relationship skills, individual coaching of couples, and ongoing case management to encourage participation and to provide links to outside community services, as needed. The current MDRC evaluation of SHM does not specifically examine daily family processes. Through this grant, the investigators have added a pilot study in which approximately 20 of the SHM families keep daily diaries using handheld wireless devices to test the appropriateness of the daily diary data collection approach. Once the optimal methods and measures are established, the results of this pilot study will be reported to the Foundation for review. If a full-scale study is approved, up to 330 families will be asked to participate in the daily diaries, and the researchers will investigate daily family processes and the links between family members’ behaviors, moods, and interactions over time. p p Preliminary feedback shows high compliance rates and positive responses to the wireless handheld devices. The investigators have also noticed a decrease in participation after a 15-day period.
Do daily diaries effectively measure family interactions among mothers, fathers, and adolescent children? Which family environments support healthy child well-being and parent engagement?