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Longitudinal Experiences and Adjustments in Parenthood Study (LEAPS)

We would like to invite expectant parents to take part in a new research project looking at the changes mothers and fathers experience as they become parents.

About the LEAPS study

Parents go through many changes throughout pregnancy, physically, mentally and emotionally as they prepare to become new parents. In our study, we would like to learn more about how these changes are happening for you.

We are also interested in the changes that happen when the baby enters your world. What changes were you expecting and what things are new, challenging or exciting? We are also hoping to follow some parents throughout their parenthood journey which will help us to understand how parenthood changes over time.

Read our information leaflet

What is involved?

If you decide to take part, you will complete a remote video-recorded interview and online questionnaires.

This interview will ask you questions about your experience of pregnancy. We will also ask you to tell us a bit about your past and present relationships. We will ask you about your feelings as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. This interview will take approximately two hours and it can be done in one session or two, depending on your preference. The interview will take place on the secure video platform, Microsoft Teams.

You will be sent an online link and detailed instructions to allow you to complete the questionnaires online. We will be available to assist you with the questionnaires if any difficulties should arise.

Who can take part?

We are seeking expectant mothers and/or fathers who are expecting a baby in the next three months. Our only inclusion criteria for the study is that at least one parent participates and that the parent is a first-time parent. There are no other exclusion criteria.

What are the benefits of taking part?

While there are no immediate benefits for those taking part, some parents have found it helpful to reflect on their parenting experience. We hope this research will be of benefit to other parents and that the knowledge gained from this study will help us to understand how parenting experiences change as a child grows from infancy to childhood.

We would like the information to be used to support families whilst they make various transitions. We will keep you up to date on relevant research findings in an annual newsletter

Are there any risks in taking part?

We do not anticipate any risks in taking part. There may be times when you share difficult experiences which can be upsetting. If you do become upset, the trained research team will be on hand to help you manage your distress.

If you feel, either during or after your participation, that you have been treated unfairly or would like to raise a complaint, please contact the study’s Principal Investigator, Dr Alejandra Perez. (phone: 020 7794 2313). Should you feel that your complaint has not been handled to your satisfaction, please contact the Chair of the UCL Research Ethics Committee.

Who is conducting the study?

The research team is Dr Alejandra Perez, Dr Elena Panagiotopoulou, Dr Ruth Roberts, Mariana Pereira, and Maria-Christina Vourda. Interviews are conducted by fully trained post-graduate students.

All researchers from this study are fully DBS checked and are affiliated with both University College London (UCL) and Anna Freud, a mental health charity for children and families. This study forms part of UCL postgraduate programmes that run in conjunction with Anna Freud, such as the MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology.

How can I take part?

For more information on how to take part, please contact us.