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Parental stress and dyadic consensus in early parenthood among mothers and fathers in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
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2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 28, no 4, 689-699 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Parental stress can negatively affect the parent-child relationship and reduce the well-being of the whole family. Family disagreement is associated with parental divorce and with psychological problems in children.

AIMS: The aim was to examine perceived parental stress and draw comparisons among mothers and among fathers, in relation to educational level, parental experience, existence of a parental role model and sense of coherence. The aim was also to examine perceived dyadic consensus and its association with perceived parental stress within couples.

METHODS: Questionnaires were completed by 320 mothers and 315 fathers at 1 week and 18 months post-partum. The Swedish Parenthood Stress Questionnaire, the Sense of Coherence Scale and the Dyadic Consensus Subscale were used.

RESULTS: Low education, lack of a role model and poor sense of coherence promoted stress in mothers in the subareas social isolation and spouse relationship problems, while lack of a role model and poor sense of coherence promoted stress in fathers in the subarea social isolation. Furthermore, parental experiences promoted stress among mothers in the subarea incompetence while this was not seen among fathers. Mothers perceived a higher level of dyadic consensus than fathers in the items recreational activities, friends, aims and life goals, time spent together, and decisions regarding career and personal development. Household tasks was the only item where fathers perceived a higher level of dyadic consensus than mothers. Additionally, there were associations between perceived parental stress and dyadic consensus in several items and in the total score.

CONCLUSIONS: To promote parents' health and family stability, health professionals should consider factors affecting stress and stress reactions, and take gender roles into account.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 28, no 4, 689-699 p.
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229883DOI: 10.1111/scs.12096ISI: 000345314000008PubMedID: 24215595OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229883DiVA: diva2:738186
Available from: 2014-08-15 Created: 2014-08-15 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Journey from Pregnancy to Early Parenthood: Perceived Needs of Support, Fathers’ Involvement, Depressive Symptoms and Stress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Journey from Pregnancy to Early Parenthood: Perceived Needs of Support, Fathers’ Involvement, Depressive Symptoms and Stress
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1057
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237088 (URN)978-91-554-9119-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-28, Samlingssalen, Ingång 29, Västmanlands sjukhus, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2015-02-03

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Widarsson, MargaretaTydén, TanjaLundberg, Pranee

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