Journey from Pregnancy to Early Parenthood: Perceived Needs of Support, Fathers’ Involvement, Depressive Symptoms and Stress
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Aims: The overall aim was to describe the perceived needs for support and fathers’ involvement among expectant parents, and to examine depressive symptoms and parental stress in early parenthood among mothers and fathers.
Methods: Two qualitative studies using focus groups and individual interviews, and three quantitative comparative studies using three questionnaires were conducted.
Results: The expectant parents had different needs and suggestions for health-care improvement. One improvement of these was better involvement of expectant fathers, as fathers were described as the mothers’ best means of support and also had needs of their own. The fathers used different strategies to get involved during the pregnancy, but sometimes found it difficult to know what was expected of them. The mothers perceived more depressive symptoms and parental stress than the fathers. The mothers also perceived higher dyadic consensus than the fathers. Parents with depressive symptoms reported lower consensus than those without. There was a negative correlation between dyadic consensus and depressive symptoms in both mothers and fathers. Mothers perceived higher parental stress than fathers in the sub-areas ‘Incompetence regarding parenthood’, ‘Role restriction’, ‘Spouse relationship problems’, and ‘Health problems’, and overall. In contrast, fathers perceived higher stress than mothers in the sub-area ‘Social isolation’. Low education, lack of a role model and poor sense of coherence promoted more stress in mothers in the sub-areas ‘Social isolation’ and ‘Spouse relationship problems’, while lack of a role model and low sense of coherence promoted stress in fathers in the sub-area ‘Social isolation’.
Conclusions and clinical implications: The expectant parents’ needs of support were not consistent with the support offered from health care services. These services need to become more client-centred, for example by offering customized individual support and peer support in groups. Further, they should also meet the needs of expectant fathers which can benefit the whole family. To promote parents’ health and family stability, health professionals should consider depressive symptoms and parental stress. They should also take gender norms into account so that parents become prepared for parenthood and get adequate support during early parenthood.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. , 73 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1057
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237088ISBN: 978-91-554-9119-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-237088DiVA: diva2:766329
2015-01-28, Samlingssalen, Ingång 29, Västmanlands sjukhus, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Lundman, Berit, Professor
Lundberg, Pranee, DocentEngström, Gabriella, DocentTyden, Tanja, Professor
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