The effects of the mother's appraisal of her employment status on the preterm infant's development at 3 months
Dr. JoAnne M. Youngblut, PhD, RN, FAAN
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The issue of whether maternal employment has negative consequences for the child has been frequently studied, although with conflicting results. Only one study has been reported that examined the effects of maternal employment on preterm infants. With more mothers of children under 1 year of age in the labor force and with improvements in preterm infant care, it is important to examine the effects of maternal employment for this group. In addition, with the mixed results obtained in previous studies, it is important to explicate the process by which these effects might occur. A sample of 110 families with preterm infants was recruited from two level III intensive care nurseries. In order to be included in the study, infants needed to be less than 37 weeks gestation, appropriate for gestational age, and free of major congenital anomalies that would preclude developmental progress. In addition, the mother had to be living with a male partner acting as the father. Forty mothers (36.4%) were employed outside the home. Fifteen (13.6%) stated they were on a leave of absence, and the remaining 55 mothers (50%) were not employed. The employment status groups were compared on demographic and work-related variables and on indicators of infant neonatal morbidity using ANOVA with Scheffe tests for post hoc comparisons. There were no significant differences across groups on demographic or infant variables. In addition, no significant differences were obtained on measures of mother-child interaction, family function, and infant developmental outcomes at 3 and 6 months chronological age. Significant differences were obtained for the work-related variables: home vs. work orientation, support from others, financial necessity, availability of child care, hours employed prenatally, and plans for returning to work postnatally. A causal model was developed to describe the process by which maternal employment may impact on the infant's developmental progress at 3 months chronological age. Total effects were greatest for the infant's neonatal morbidity, followed by resource availability and mother-child interaction. Implications for nursing practice and research were discussed.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9001747; ProQuest document ID: 303708617. The author still retains copyright.
This 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.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Quantitative Research|
|CINAHL Subject(s)||Mothers, Working--Psychosocial Factors;
Outcomes of Prematurity;
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