At Intentional Family Project, we are studying the lives of families in order to provide your family with research-based information on cultivating intentional practices that benefit your family. In June 2019, we presented a finding from our online study on Intentional Families & Quality of Life. The study had over 900 participants across all stages of life.
In this study, we were able to see how families manage their time based on their current season of life. From this preliminary analyses, we were able to see that: Parents with young children (ages 2 to 5) are most likely to plan their family time for the immediate- (1-2 days), short- (1-2 months), and long-term (1-2 years) in comparison to families in other seasons of life.
Parents with young children (ages 2 to 5) are most likely to plan their family time for the immediate-, short-, and long-term.
In general, all families spend time planning their family time. Our finding just suggest that during different seasons of life, families may spend more time planning for the immediate- (1-2 days), short- (1-2 months), and long-term (1-2 years). So we will walk through the family life cycle to understand these trends in planning family time.
When couples are thinking about becoming parents they spend a lot of time planning long term family events. When children arrive (birth to 2), they spend less time thinking about long-term events and more time thinking about the immediate family events. During preschool (2-5), parents plan the most in all intervals–immediate, short, and long. Then as children go through middle childhood (6-12) parents plan the most for immediate events but do not spend as much time planning short and long term family events. As children becomes teenagers (13-18) parents plan more in short and long term and decrease in immediate family plans. Finally, parents whose children are grown (18+) are the least likely to plan their family time. In our future posts, we will unpack what these trends means for our intentional families.
The following poster was presented at the American Association for Family & Consumer Science (AAFCS) national conference in St Louis. We are also grateful for AAFCS’s financial support for this research project through the Centennial Scholars Grant.
Citation: Melton K. & McAninch, N. (June 2019). Intentional families: Propensity to plan family time across the family life cycle. Poster presentation at American Association for Family & Consumer Sciences. St. Louis, MO. https://intentional.family/?p=907