• Relationships among maternal individual and environmental characteristics and maternal role adaptation in Army families

      Zadinsky, Julie Kay; School of Nursing (1992-03)
      The purpose of this secondary analysis was to investigate relationships among motl1ers' individual and environmental characteristics and maternal role adaptation during the transition to parenthood in Army families. Also, the Postpartum Attitudes Scale was evaluated as a measure of mothers' psychological adaptation to th~ maternal role in the early postpa~tum period. The conceptual framework was derived from Bronfenbrenner's :e_calogical systems paradigm and transition to parenthood research and was tested with a convenience sample of 108 expectant mothers and 59 husbands. Mothers' and fathers' social assets, psychological state, and family and life stressors were measured in the prenatal and postpartum periods and maternal role adaptation was measured-within the first month postpartum. There was a 61% response rate for husbands of :married mothers who participated at Time 1 and a retention rate through the third time period of 53% for mothers and 47% for fathers. Principal components analysis with varimax rotation identified a three-factor structure of 11 items on the Postpartum Attitude~ Scale consistent with its proposed theoretical framework of maternal role adaptation, and the int•3rnal consistency reliability of the revised scale was 0.70. Multivariate analysis of covariance indicated that fathers' family and life stressors had the greatest effect on expectant mothers' ch~racteristics (p=.OOl).· Follow-up univariate F tests indicated that this effect was primarily related to mothers' family and life stressors (p=.006). That-is, as fathers' stressors increased, so did mothers' stressors. Also, mothers' family and life stressors had the greatest effect on expectant fathers' characteristics (p=.004), and this effect was primarily related to fathers' stressors (p=.004). Backward elimination and forward selection regression identified mothers' prenatal psychological s~ate as the best predictor of maternal .role adaptation for the 32 mothers experiencing their first transition to parenthood (p=.009). However, 'mothers' prenatal family and life stressors were the best predictor:of maternal role adaptation for the 33 mothers experiencing their second·transition to parenthood (p=.OlO). Expectant mothers' and fathers' characteristics and maternal role adaptation had no effect on observed change in mothers' psychological state or family and life stressors from the prenatal to the postpartum period.