Currently Funded Projects
1. Different Forms of Family Instability: Key Mechanisms Linking Family Strengthening Interventions, Family Functioning and Child Wellbeing. (Administration for Children & Families, U.S. DHHS). PI: Barnett; Co-PI: Dr. Melissa Curran (FSHD)
- Family instability is a significant risk factor for children’s cognitive, behavioral and emotional development, often because it undermines effective parenting practices and parental functioning. Economically disadvantaged families are particularly likely to experience family instability. The goal of this secondary data analysis is to examine how participation in the Building Strong Families (BSF) program, a federally funded relationship intervention program, caused families to experience reductions in three different forms of family instability (i.e., financial, family structure, romantic relationship quality), that in turn bolstered child development via increased father involvement and higher quality coparenting relationships. By examining multiple forms of family instability as intervention pathways, we will be able to inform future intervention work aimed at strengthening relationships and wellbeing among economically disadvantaged families across the transition to parenthood.
2. How Does Climate Change Adaptation-Related Stress and Coping Impact Family Functioning and Adaptation-Related Behaviors? (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona). PI: Barnett; Co-PI: Dr. Melissa Curran (FSHD), Dr. Sabrina Helm (RCSC) and Dr. Zelieann Craig (ACBS).
- We bring together expertise in several distinct areas (i.e., child development, family studies, environmental sustainability, physiology) to apply a whole-family approach to address climate change adaptation-related stress and coping (CCARSC). Using an experimental design, we will expose parents of 5-8 year-old children to messages about climate change to understand how this exposure influences (a) concurrent stress responses in parents, (b) the quality of family interactions filmed immediately after, and (c) changes related to climate change adaptive behaviors one week later. The findings will provide pilot data for future studies considering individual and family coping in the face of climate change. This knowledge has significant implications for policy makers responsible for designing campaigns that seek to foster climate change adaptation while improving family wellbeing.
- Data collection for this study will take place in Tucson beginning in early 2015.