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Cross-Cultural Parental Support

By interviewing parents from the U.S., France, and Iceland, we can better understand the effects of paid parental leave on parental support.

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America stands as one of the last developed countries to not mandate paid parental leave, so parents must find parental support from families, communities, and employers. Cross-cultural analysis of the effects of paid parental leave would prove useful for future policy decisions; the U.S. could learn from other countries. During my research, I will interview American, French, and Icelandic citizens; analyze those interviews; construct experimental materials; and cultivate academic connections for future research.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Gender equity must be prominent in everything (e.g. policies). If you provide fathers with equal paid parental leave and a supportive environment (e.g. home and work), fathers, mothers, and children will reap the benefits. Most Americans want paid parental leave, and research justifies the benefits of a long paid parental leave: lower maternal depression, lower infant mortality rates, and more.

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

My research targets The Unusual Suspect. Through interviewing parents from America, Iceland, and France, I am learning how their society deals with having a child in their specific context. Iceland provides parents with a long paid parental leave, and mothers and fathers both take it. In France, mothers take most of the paid parental leave. The U.S. does not offer paid parental leave, so I am researching their parental support systems. My research will examine the effects of paid parental leave.

Tell us about yourself:

I am a senior undergraduate Psychology student at Lehigh University. Together with my advisor, Dr. Christopher Burke, I am researching cross-cultural parental support after receiving a Strohl grant.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No


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