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Title: Support for couples in the transition to parenthood
Author: Parr, Meriel A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3472 6852
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 1996
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Factors influencing adjustments in the transition to parenthood are identified and strategies for support in Britain and the USA are reviewed through participant-observation of 20 USA programmes (N=94 parents). A longitudinal British study, using a wide range of self report measures and in-depth interviews at three time points (1) examined key features of the transition to parenthood for a low risk sample of women (N=106) and men (N=106), and compared adjustments of 52 couples who participated in a new support programme with 54 couples who did not. The programme combined a group-based and home visit model which either began in pregnancy and continued postnatally, or began postnatally. The programme focused on the psychological dimensions of the transition to parenthood, with the intersubjectivity of the couple and parent-infant relationship at the core of the integrative model. Evidence is provided that the transition to parenthood is more complex than previous studies assume. A substantial number of the "low risk" women and men appeared to experience psychological distress and the main concern of women and men were different from the agenda of hospital based antenatal classes. A number of gender differences were found but partners were the main source of support for women and men. Women and men in the support group were comfortable to disclose explicit details about their experiences. At 6 months postnatally, their adjustments were more positive than women and men on the control for aspects of (a) confidence as a parent; (b) satisfaction with the couple relationship ; (c) satisfaction with the parent-infant relationship; (d) coping strategies, and (e) separation anxiety. Implications for theory, research and practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Wolfendale, Sheila ; Woollett , Anne Sponsor: Parent Network ; The Artemis Charitable Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology, Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Maternal, Paternal, Couple and Parent-Infant Relationships and Emotional Wellbeing, Support in the Transition to Parenthood