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.
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.
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.
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.