The National Institutes of Health has awarded a more than $320,000 grant to Dr. Brandon McDaniel, a research scientist with the health services and informatics research team at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation in Fort Wayne. Parkview says McDaniel will use the funding to study the phone habits of parents of infants and develop programming that promotes healthy digital habits.
McDaniel will conduct the research with co-investigators Dr. Jenny Radesky at the University of Michigan and, at Parkview, Dr. Jessica Pater and Dr. Michelle Drouin, and Connie Kerrigan, director of community support services at the Parkview Behavioral Health Institute.
“This grant is especially notable as it’s the first NIH grant awarded to Parkview,” said Dr. Tammy Toscos, director of health services and informatics research at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. “Only a small fraction of applications for NIH grants receive funding, and we’re extremely excited for the doors this will open for Dr. McDaniel and Parkview as a whole.”
Parkview says the grant will enable McDaniel and his team to conduct a two-year study of about 250 parents of infants, with the goal of better understanding parents’ phone use relative to their mental health.
Ultimately, Parkview says the research will support “the development of data- and parent-informed programming to assist parents of infants in fostering healthy caregiving.”
“Phone use has become quite common during parenting and family interactions, and this can sometimes negatively impact the quality of care and bonding that infants and children experience. This is especially true if parents are often distracted or absorbed by device use during time they are spending with their infant,” McDaniel said. “Infants need their parent’s or caregiver’s responsiveness and sensitivity in order to develop a healthy and secure attachment as well as the ability to regulate their emotions effectively. This development can have important ramifications for children’s mental health, academic performance and relationship quality as they grow older.”
The project is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health.