bold>Objective: </bold>This dissertation investigated the effect of a family life education program on the subsequent information behaviors of first-time parents. Information behavior can occur both intentionally and incidentally, and through routine and non-routine sources. This study aimed to examine the hypothesis that participation in the educational intervention would increase the information behavior of participants, as indicated by reporting the use of a wider variety of information resource types. The study also examined the potential moderating effects on information behavior by education, income, parenting stress, child temperament and characteristics, and social support networks.Method: </bold>The sample for this experimental intervention study included 132 cohabiting or married couples who were expecting their firstborn children at the time of enrollment. Participants were randomly assigned to either the control or intervention group. Data for these analyses were collected around the children's first birthdays. Dependent variables were calculated from participants' self-reported use of different information resource types over the previous year. ANOVA was utilized to examine between-groups differences in total information sources, routine information sources and non-routine information sources. Potential moderating variables were measured utilizing the Parenting Stress Inventory, the Infant Characteristics Questionnaire, and the Social Support Network Inventory. Hierarchical regression served to identify potential moderation of the effect of the intervention on the dependent variables.<bold>Results: </bold>Participation in the educational intervention was found to increase total information behavior and non-routine information for both mothers and fathers, and to increase routine information behavior for fathers. Moderating effects of income, parenting stress, infant temperament and social support were not identified, but level of education was found to moderate the effect of the intervention on routine information source use by fathers. bold>Conclusions: </bold>Results indicate that the educational interventions can increase the variety of resource types used by participants seeking parenting- or pregnancy-related information. Additionally, findings suggests that fathers in particular may be motivated to seek out additional information sources, perhaps from the normalizing experience of talking with others about being a parent and adjusting to children.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2014. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: William J. Doherty. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 134 pages; appendices A-D.
Gwinn, Derek Andrew.
Effect of a family life education program on non-directed information behavior of first-time parents.
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