Marital and parenting satisfaction and infant care self-efficacy during the transition to parenthood: The effect of infant sex

Susan M. Elek, Diane Brage Hudson, Carla Bouffard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this follow-up study was to examine the effect of infant sex on changes in and differences between parents' reports of infant care self-efficacy and parenting and marital satisfaction from 4 months to 12 months after the birth of their first child. A convenience sample of 32 couples was selected from 44 couples who participated in a longitudinal study of the development of parenting satisfaction and infant care self-efficacy during the first 4 months after the birth of a first child (Brage Hudson, Elek, & Fleck, 2001). Couples completed a demographic questionnaire, the Infant Care Survey (ICS, Froman & Owen, 1989), the What Being the Parent of a New Baby is Like - Revised Questionnaire (WPBL-R, Pridham & Chang, 1989), and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS, Spanier, 1976, 1989) 4 and 12 months postpartum. Infant care self-efficacy, but not parenting satisfaction, increased from 4 to 12 months; mothers reported higher infant care self-efficacy and parenting satisfaction than fathers at both times. Fathers of boys reported greater parenting satisfaction and infant care self-efficacy at 12 months than fathers of girls. Marital satisfaction decreased from 4 to 12 months for both mothers and fathers. Significant relationships existed among infant care self-efficacy, parenting satisfaction, and marital satisfaction at both 4 and 12 months postpartum. Implications for families and for nursing interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

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