SOURCE: Signal Patterns

Signal Patterns

March 05, 2009 09:00 ET

Signal Patterns Team of Psychologists Develops Parenting Style Application for Parenting.com

First-of-Its-Kind Psychology-Based Web Application Helps Moms and Dads Discover, Learn and Improve Their Parenting

PLEASANTVILLE, NY--(Marketwire - March 5, 2009) - Signal Patterns, developers of psychology-based social Web applications, unveiled a professional-grade parenting style tool for Parenting.com, the online home of Parenting and Babytalk magazines. Developed by Signal Patterns' team of PhD researchers, the breakthrough application offers new insight into the rich complexities of parenting approaches far beyond relaxed/strict descriptions and is the first such test to shed light on potential parenting conflicts among couples.

The application features a new assessment questionnaire available now at http://www.parenting.com/Mom/signalPatterns.jsp. By taking the survey, parents can gain valuable insight on how they interact with their children. In addition, parents can complete the survey in the way they believe their partners would in order to compare their parenting style with their perception of their partner's style.

"One's parenting style is a hidden trait and most couples discover parenting style differences for the first time when they become parents," said Ran Zilca, CEO and co-founder of Signal Patterns. "This application is the first online assessment tool that helps couples understand the conflicting points between their parenting approaches and provides initial advice on how to address these inevitable differences in a positive way."

Signal Patterns' innovative model reveals an underlying complexity of parenting styles far richer than simple 'strict' or 'relaxed' classifications. The model is comprised of three principal variables:

--  Shaping Their Character: captures how parents set expectations for
    their children -- from playing an active role in setting rules and
    instructions on how to behave to taking a more relaxed stance and letting
    children express themselves in whatever way they choose.
--  Making the Rules: captures how parents communicate with their children
    -- from a democratic approach where everyone has a say to more of a "one-
    way street" approach where parents have the responsibility to make
    decisions for their children.
--  Enforcing Discipline: captures the way in which parents discipline
    their children -- from a more tolerant approach to the belief that
    punishment is necessary to establish proper boundaries.
    

"The survey application's underlying dimensions converge with empirical research in developmental and family psychology, and therefore, parents who take both the Parenting Style survey and our Personality Patterns survey will gain greater insight into how their personality contributes to their style of parenting," added Jason Rentfrow, PhD, Signal Patterns' director of scientific research and member of the social and political sciences faculty at Cambridge University in England. "SP Labs' research team plans to conduct further research in this area and will release its findings later this year."

Each of the three variables is statistically independent, meaning a parent can score very high in one dimension, but low in another. For example, a parent may feel she has to set clear and strict expectations for her children, while letting her kids have a strong say in deciding how these expectations will be met. Parents can score a strict (high), neutral (medium), or relaxed (low) in each variable -- resulting in 27 possible parenting styles for an individual parent and 729 different possible combinations for pairs of parents.

"We're thrilled to be able to offer Signal Patterns' parenting style application exclusively to Parenting.com visitors," said Rachel Fishman Feddersen, director of Parenting.com. "The tool gives moms personalized insights into their own parenting behavior, giving them a better understanding of the way they relate to their spouses and their children, and how they can make the best decisions for their families."

The Parenting.com application is based on professional-grade psychological instruments developed by the Signal Patterns team led by Dr. Lew Goldberg and Dr. Jason Rentfrow. To develop the questionnaire set, the team administered a large pool of questions that could potentially characterize parenting choices and attitudes to a large and diverse control group representing the population of North America. The control group's responses were then analyzed using multiple statistical techniques to learn what patterns emerged from them.

Additional Signal Patterns psychology applications are available now at www.signalpatterns.com and free for all. Online publishers, social networks, content providers, recommendation engine providers, and advertisers who are interested in customized applications can contact Signal Patterns online or by phone at 914-747-3689.

About Signal Patterns

Signal Patterns develops social web applications that characterize and connect people to each other based on their interests, personality and preferences. With these psychology-based applications, people can discover more about themselves as well as make valuable connections to like-minded individuals, while publishers, advertisers and social networks can increase their own user engagement. Signal Patterns' patent-pending technology results from a unique combination of in-house behavioral science research and data mining expertise. Founded in 2006, Signal Patterns is based in Pleasantville, NY. Visit: http://www.signalpatterns.com and http://www.signalpatternslabs.com. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/signalpatterns.

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