Effects of a relationship strengthening intervention on quality of life of young low-income minority parents
Becoming parents leads to increased martial conflict, and decreased martial satisfaction and adjustment, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Studies have demonstrated that positive relationship adjustment relates to better mental and physical health. Therefore, interventions aimed to improve relationships are needed to improve mental and physical health among vulnerable populations.
Partners in LIFE (PIL) is a 15-session relationship-based intervention delivered to young low-income minority parents (age 14-25). 49 couples were recruited from urban pediatric clinics and randomized into PIL or a control group. PIL activities consisted of relationship strengthening (e.g., intimacy, empathy, communication, conflict resolution), parenting skills, and sexual health. The control group received only parenting skills. Participants were assessed at baselines and 4 months after intervention. Using within-groups analysis of variance (ANOVA) to account for the dependence of the data from time and dyad, we evaluated the effects of this intervention on physical and mental quality of life (QOL).
There was a significant intervention * time * gender effect (p=.003) for mental QOL. For males, PIL significantly increased mental QOL compared to controls (p=0.009); but for females PIL and control did not differ (p=0.101). However, there was a dose response for females (p=0.0437). Females with > 50% attendance of PIL sessions increased their mental QOL, while those with <50% attendance did not change. No effects were observed on physical QOL.
Our results provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a relationship strengthening intervention for young low-income minority parents to improve mental quality of life.
Learning Areas:Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Evaluate the effects of a relationship strengthening intervention on physical and mental quality of life of young low-income minority parents. Discuss the correlation between positive relationship and mental and physical health among vulnerable populations.
Keyword(s): Quality of Life, Behavioral Research