Dr Sonali Rajan EdD1, Dr Noelle Leonard PhD1,2, Dr Richard Fletcher PhD3 Dr Beth Casarjian PhD4, Robin Casarjian MA4, Cathleen Cisse MPH24, Dr MaryaGwadz PhD2
1Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA,2New York University, College of Nursing, New York, USA,3Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, 4Lionheart Foundation, Boston, USA
Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal MTM 1:3:25-31, 2012
Background: Many adolescent mothers experience significant challenges in regulating emotions due to adverse life experiences, which can place adolescent mothers and their children at risk for poor developmental outcomes. Ambulatory monitoring of stress that also provides immediate feedback using wearable biosensors has the potential to enhance clinician-delivered parenting interventions and help young mothers develop emotion regulatory skills.
Methods: We conducted a pilot study to assess the acceptability, ease of use, and preliminary efficacy of a wearable biosensor, the iCalm sensor band, among a sample of four mothers, ages 15-18 years. Mothers wore the biosensor for a period of 24-36 hours while engaging in normal, daily tasks (e.g. caring for their child, attending school). Both quantitative electrodermal activity (EDA) data (via the iCalm sensor band) and qualitative data (via individual semi-structured interviews) were collected.
Results: The adolescent mothers were able to comfortably use and wear the iCalm sensor band. EDA data were collected and corresponded with stressful daily life events described by the mothers during qualitative interviews.
Conclusion: The iCalm biosensor is acceptable to use among high-risk adolescent mothers and appears to help mothers with the development of emotion regulatory skills.