Dr. Dallas Swendeman is using his William T. Grant Scholars award to iteratively develop and pilot test a mobile phone application (AndWellness) to study family processes and youth well-being. Mobile phones have transformed families’ daily routines and offer the opportunity to transform science and intervention for youth and family well-being. These devices provide tools for collecting large amounts of data on youth, families, and the settings they encounter in real-time, affordable, and scalable ways. Increasingly, mobile phones are connected to the Internet and have a variety of sensors, user interfaces, media and communication channels for information sharing. Social network, communication, and time and location data are automatically stored in call and text-message logs that can be mined as sources of low-burden data on family routines and settings. Dr. Dallas Swendeman is using his William T. Grant Scholars award to iteratively develop and pilot test a mobile phone application (AndWellness) to study family processes and youth well-being. He will (1) study the quality of the data compared to other data collection methods, (2) identify and resolve issues in the use of the application tools, and (3) identify ways to use the application platform to improve family functioning and youth well-being. First, he will conduct qualitative interviews and observations to understand how families and youth use mobile phones, collect feedback on AndWellness, and identify privacy and feasibility concerns. Then, in a series of pilot studies, data on family interactions and youth activities and well-being will be collected via AndWellness. This data will be compared to data collected via standardized retrospective self-reports, structured interviews, and observational methods. Dr. Swendeman’s long term goal is to develop ecological momentary interventions using mobile phones to support positive family functioning and youth well-being.
How can mobile phones be used to develop new measurement and intervention tolls to support families and improve youth well-being?