Maternal role development following childbirth among Australian women

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Title Maternal role development following childbirth among Australian women
Author Emmanuel, Elizabeth Noela Mary; Creedy, Debra; St John, Winsome; Gamble, Jennifer Ann; Brown, Claire Rosemary
Journal Name Journal of Advanced Nursing
Editor Alison Tierney (Editor-in-Chief)
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Abstract Aim. This paper is a report on the examination of demographic, birthing and social correlates of maternal role development in childbearing women. Background. Successful adaptation to the maternal role provides a mother with confidence and satisfaction in her ability to nurture and care for her infant. Despite the importance of this developmental process for maternal well-being, little attention has been given to social and demographic predictors of positive role development in recent years. Methods. A prospective study was undertaken at three publicly-funded metropolitan antenatal clinics in Queensland, Australia between March and November 2003. A total of 605 women completed a survey at 36 weeks gestation and 12 weeks postpartum, with a response rate of 78% (n = 473). A self-report questionnaire was used to collect data about personal and birth variables, domestic violence, social support and maternal role development. Findings. The majority of women (81%) were of White ethnic background, modal age was 30–45 years (40%, n = 189) and 66 percent (n = 312) were in paid employment. Bivariate analysis identified age, marital status, length of relationship and social support to be statistically significantly associated with maternal role development. Optimal scaling showed social support to be the most important factor in maternal role development. Conclusion. Maternal role development following childbirth is complex and can be adversely affected by older maternal age, married status, inadequate social support and short partner relationships. A deeper understanding of this process is needed if healthcare professionals are to assist mothers in making a smooth transition to motherhood.
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2008 Blackwell Publishing. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Maternal role development following childbirth among Australian women, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Volume 64, Issue 1, pages 18–26, which has been published in final form at
Volume 64
Issue Number 1
Page from 18
Page to 26
ISSN 0309-2402
Date Accessioned 2008-09-19
Language en_AU
Research Centre Menzies Health Institute Qld; Population and Social Health Research Program; Centre for Health Practice Innovation
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Midwifery
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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