PARENTHOOD AND THE QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE IN DAILY LIFE: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

This longitudinal study analyzes the time budget and the quality of experience reported by new parents. Five primiparous couples were repeatedly administered Experience Sampling Method. They carried pagers sending random signals 6–8 times a day; at the signal reception, they filled out forms sampling current thoughts, activities, and the quality of experience. Nine of the ten participants worked full-time or part-time. 8 sampling sessions were carried out: 4 during pregnancy, 4 after delivery, each one lasting 7–12 days. Maternity leave deeply influenced mothers' time budget. Parents' quality of experience was analyzed in four daily activities: parenting, work, leisure, use of media. Significant differences were detected; specifically, parenting was associated with the highest values of mood, perceived challenges and involvement. Although the small sample size prevents any firm conclusion, findings provide methodological and theoretical suggestions for further studies. Developmental implications in the bio-cultural perspective are also outlined.

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