Text-Based Mentoring for New Moms: A Feasibility Study

58 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2018

See all articles by Eleanor Martin

Eleanor Martin

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Christina Weiland

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Date Written: May 31, 2018

Abstract

Although text messaging interventions targeting parents and older students have shown promise for improving a variety of outcomes, evidence on text-based outreach and support for new parents is just emerging. We explore programmatic data from a text-based mentoring intervention designed to support new mothers and promote healthy child development. We coded 18,897 text messages from 162 mother-mentor pairs to describe the characteristics of interactions between new mothers and their text-based mentors. On average, mothers remained engaged with the program for 296 days (out of a full year) and texted with their mentor every 9 days. Mothers and mentors discussed both child-focused topics (28% of exchanges) and mother-focused topics (8% of exchanges). Mentors responded to 86% of mothers’ problems within 48 hours and offered mothers emotional support (39% of offers) and advice (35% of offers) most frequently. Based on the demonstrated ability of the program to engage mothers, the content addressed in their interactions with mentors, and the supports offered by mentors, we conclude that text-based mentoring is a promising strategy for providing outreach and support to new mothers.

Keywords: parenting intervention, infants and toddlers, maternal mental health, technology, mentoring

Suggested Citation

Martin, Eleanor and Weiland, Christina and Page, Lindsay C., Text-Based Mentoring for New Moms: A Feasibility Study (May 31, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3195333 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3195333

Eleanor Martin (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Christina Weiland

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7166 (Phone)

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