Impact of Marital Quality and Psychological Well-being on Parental Sensitivity for First-time Mothers and Fathers: A Nursing Study
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Review StatusNot Applicable (See Review Type)
Repository Posting Date2019-03-29T14:02:42Z
Author DetailsBetty Broom, PhD, RN
Lead Author Sigma AffliationGamma Gamma
Level of EvidenceCross-Sectional
Research ApproachQuantitative Research
CINAHL HeadingsParent-Infant Relations; Parental Attitudes -- Evaluation; Psychological Well-Being; Marriage; Parental Attitudes
Parents' sensitivity in reading infants' often-subtle cues is an essential part of parent-infant interactions that contributes to child development. Empirical evidence links marital quality to quality of parent-infant interaction. Little is known, however, about how marital quality affects parental sensitivity for first-time mothers and fathers. This correlational study has three purposes: (a) to test an operational model suggesting that marital quality contributes to parental sensitivity by affecting the psychological well-being of first-time mothers and fathers, (b) to learn if adding parental age and infant gender increases the model's power to predict parental sensitivity, and (c) to learn if the operational model differs for first-time mothers and fathers. A sample of 71 married couples with healthy three-month-old infants was recruited from childbirth education classes. Data collections were done in subjects' homes. Parents completed questionnaires measuring perceived marital quality, spousal behaviors, and psychological well-being; and observers assessed parent interactions with their infants during structured teaching tasks. The operational model has more predictive power for mothers than for fathers. The maternal model accounts for 25% of the variance in parental sensitivity, with perceived spousal participation in family life and maternal age explaining the most variance. The paternal model accounts for 15% of the variance, with psychological well-being the only significant predictor. Infant gender is not a significant predictor of parental sensitivity for either parent. Revised models incorporating maternal employment status indicate that whether or not the mother is employed outside the home predicts mothers', but not fathers' parental sensitivity. Employed mothers are more sensitive to their infants than are unemployed mothers. These findings support the theory that parental psychological resources--psychological well-being, quality of the marital relationship, and employment outside the home--are major factors in determining parental sensitivity for first-time parents.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9128167; ProQuest document ID: 303948373. The author still retains copyright.
Advisor(s)Redland, Alice R.
Degree GrantorThe University of Texas at Austin
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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