App that helps tackle stress in parents

App that helps tackle stress in parents

App that helps tackle stress in parents

If you are a parent and have to deal with kids who give you the jitters, this App is designed for you.

The App delivers research-based strategies to help decrease stress during emotionally charged interactions with their children. The system, called ParentGuardian, detects stress and presents interventions in real-time.

Developed by computer scientists at Microsoft Research and University of California, San Diego, the system combines a mobile application and sensor to detect stress in parents.

"Instead of focusing on an individual in need we are looking at how to build and design technology for the family as a whole and what's beneficial for them," said Laura Pina, who presented her work at the 8th "International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare" held in Germany recently.

"We wanted to help parents to be the parents they want to be," added Pina, a Ph.D. student in computer science at University of California, San Diego and former intern at Microsoft Research.

The system was initially tested on a small group of parents of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It combines a sensor worn on the wrist with a smart phone and tablet as well as a server that analyses the data from the sensor.

The interventions are based on "Parenting Behavioural Therapy" which has been shown to be effective in addressing the needs of children with ADHD and their parents.

The therapy teaches parents the skills they need to work on and has been shown to have long term effects for both parents and child.

It has been shown to improve self control and self awareness in children and reduce parental stress. Parents said they found the heat-of-the-moment prompts particularly useful.