The study of families and couples often requires developing an understanding of complex interrelationships among variables that change between people and across time and context. As a result, family researchers are increasingly turning to intensive longitudinal assessment approaches to study the dynamic processes inherent in this field. This chapter uses the term ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to describe general approach of intensively collecting data from people as they go about their lives, as it is most commonly used in the social and health sciences. It addresses topics related to why EMA can be useful, what research questions can be addressed using EMA, and how researchers can think about implementing EMA studies. The chapter discusses the topic of ecological momentary interventions and how this intervention approach might be used with couples and families. It finally describes EMA studies that draw broadly from family, child, and couples literatures to illustrate various points.
Heron, K. E., Miadich, S., Everhart, R., & Smyth, J. (2019). Ecological momentary assessment and related intensive longitudinal designs in family and couples research. In B. Fiese, M. Celano, K. Deater-Deckard, E. Jouriles, & M. Whisman (Eds.), APA handbooks in psychology®. APA handbook of contemporary family psychology: Foundations, methods, and contemporary issues across the lifespan (pp. 369–385). American Psychological Association.