A randomized controlled trial testing the impact of a support/work-planning intervention on first-time parents' health, partner relationship, and work responsibilities

Behav Med. 2002 Fall;28(3):84-91. doi: 10.1080/08964280209596045.


The authors randomly assigned 151 couples expecting their first child to a support/work-planning intervention group or a standard prenatal curriculum group. To evaluate the impact of the intervention, they conducted surveys at baseline and 6-months postpartum to assess mental and physical health, partner satisfaction and caring, work time, housework sharing, and satisfaction with housework sharing. They found no significant group differences on postpartum health or work outcomes, although fathers in the experimental group, in contrast to controls, showed a trend toward less postpartum decline in housework sharing. The study identified a tool to help parents plan their postpartum work responsibilities. The tool, as tested in this trial, did not have a significant impact on parents' work behaviors or health outcomes. Further studies are needed to investigate mechanisms to support young parents during their demanding early childbearing years.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Parenting*
  • Parents*
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires