New Parents Project

Becoming a parent is a time of great joy, but it is also a time of stress and change for couples. The New Parents project, started in the spring of 2008, aims to explore family relationships, specifically couples expecting their first child. This study seeks to identify the various aspects that affect both new mothers’ and fathers’ adjustment and transition into parenthood. This research will be beneficial to society as the knowledge gained from it can be used to improve programs for parents and families.

Research Timeline

Planning for this project began in March 2008. We will begin participant recruitment in Summer/Autumn 2008 and continue to recruit 8 to 10 couples per month for the next 18 months.

  • Phase 1 assessments (3rd trimester) will be conducted from September 2008 through February 2010.
  • Phase 2 assessments (3 months postpartum) will be conducted from March 2009 through August 2010.
  • Phase 3 assessments (6 months postpartum) will go from June 2009 to November 2010.
  • Phase 4 assessments (9 months postpartum) will be carried out from September 2009 through February 2011.

Data entry and coding will be ongoing, and will be completed for the entire study by Summer 2013.

Info for New Parents

Interested in contributing to on rookie parents?

Expectant Partners Must:

  • Be either married or living together
  • Both be expecting their first biological child
  • Both work full time
  • Both expect to return to work (at least part time) after the baby is born

What should parents expect?

Couples will complete a total of 4 phases: once during the third trimester and again at 3, 6, and 9 months after birth

  • During the third trimester, you will complete questionnaires asking you about your personal characteristics, beliefs, expectations, and family relationships. We will also visit your home for an in-home interview and observation.
  • After that, you will complete more questionnaires and we will come back to your home for a second interview and observation when the baby is 3 months old.
  • Then, the next step will be another questionnaire and a phone interview when the baby is 6 months old.
  • And finally, at 9 months, you and your partner will complete an additional questionnaire, and you, your partner, and your baby will visit the Center of Science and Industry, also known as COSI, located in downtown Columbus. There you will be interviewed and observed interacting together.

How do parents benefit from this study?

Couples will not benefit directly from participating in the study as they will not receive individual feedback about their adjustment or family relationships. However, couples will receive newsletters describing general study findings as they become available.

Additionally, couples will be compensated for their time with:

  • Cash at every phase for a total of $135
  • A complimentary one-year membership to COSI, Columbus’ science museum (worth $82)
  • Ohio State themed gifts for the infants

If you are interested, please contact The New Parents Project at (614) 247-1543 or for more information and the opportunity to sign up. We would love to hear from you!

Sincere Thanks to Our Participating Families

Research in family development greatly depends on the support and cooperation from parents and children. We genuinely appreciate our participating families, without whom this project would not be possible.