I am interested in why parents parent the way they do and the consequences their caregiving decisions have on their own and family functioning.
In my current research, I focus on mothers who are combining motherhood with employment and have recently returned to work after maternity leave. I aim to better understand this transition, by answering questions such as: What emotions and thoughts do mothers have when going back to work after maternity leave? Do these emotions and thoughts change over time? Why do some mothers deal with the transition better than others? And what are the consequences of returning to work for maternal caregiving quality, family relations and infant development?
At the moment, I am working on my first project, the REWIND Studie (REturn to Work INventory Development). In this project, our research team aims to develop a new questionnaire to measeure emotions and thoughts mothers might have when returning to work after maternity leave. By doing so, we hope to increase our knowledge on how mothers in the Netherlands deal with going back to work after welcoming a new baby into their lives.
Okorn, A., Verhoeven, M., & van Baar, A. L. (2021). The importance of mothers’ and fathers’ positive parenting for toddlers’ and preschoolers’ social-emotional adjustment. Parenting: Science and Practice. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2021.1908090