OBJECTIVES: In the context of a group randomized field trial, we evaluated whether parents who participated in a workplace intervention, designed to increase supervisor support for personal and family life and schedule control, reported significantly more daily time with their children at the 12-month follow-up compared with parents assigned to the Usual Practice group. We also tested whether the intervention effect was moderated by parent gender, child gender, or child age.
METHODS: The Support-Transform-Achieve-Results Intervention was delivered in an information technology division of a US Fortune 500 company. Participants included 93 parents (45% mothers) of a randomly selected focal child aged 9 to 17 years (49% daughters) who completed daily telephone diaries at baseline and 12 months after intervention. During evening telephone calls on 8 consecutive days, parents reported how much time they spent with their child that day.
RESULTS: Parents in the intervention group exhibited a significant increase in parent-child shared time, 39 minutes per day on average, between baseline and the 12-month follow-up. By contrast, parents in the Usual Practice group averaged 24 fewer minutes with their child per day at the 12-month follow-up. Intervention effects were evident for mothers but not for fathers and for daughters but not sons.
CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that the intervention would improve parents’ daily time with their children was supported. Future studies should examine how redesigning work can change the quality of parent-child interactions and activities known to be important for youth health and development.