Citation
Fitness,support,career,education,coping and Attachment, and Their Relationship in Mediating Perceived Stress, Coping and Perceived Competence in First Time Mothers

Material Information

Title:
Fitness,support,career,education,coping and Attachment, and Their Relationship in Mediating Perceived Stress, Coping and Perceived Competence in First Time Mothers
Creator:
Brown Spengler, Minor
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (232 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Mental Health Counseling
Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
Committee Chair:
Daniels, M. Harry Harry
Committee Members:
Sherrard, Peter A.
Smith, Sondra
Miller, M David
Graduation Date:
8/7/2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Anxiety ( jstor )
Infant care ( jstor )
Infants ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
Parenting ( jstor )
Parents ( jstor )
Psychological stress ( jstor )
Self esteem ( jstor )
Stress tests ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
attachment, career, competence, coping, education, first, fitness, mothers, new, perceived, stress, support, time
Alachua County ( local )
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
Mental Health Counseling thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
This study investigated the relationship between level of fitness, level of support, attachment, career and child care education, and perceived level of stress and perceived child care competence in first time mothers, ages 24-35, between 2 months and 8 months post partum. Most participants were from within Alachua county Florida. This study found a distinct pattern in which two dimensions of parental knowledge were tapped. The questionnaires, as well as the constructs measured can be broken into the categories of instrumental and expressive. A generational pattern detected, may hold further implications regarding support for new mothers. Support was found to be an important factor, and was valued no matter where it came from. The findings make an important contribution in identifying factors that may be important, and themes that should be explored to better understand those factors and how they may play a role in a new mother s life ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local:
Adviser: Daniels, M. Harry Harry.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Minor Brown Spengler.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Embargo Date:
10/8/2010
Resource Identifier:
004979800 ( ALEPH )
706489370 ( OCLC )
Classification:
LD1780 2010 ( lcc )

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1 FITNESS, SUPPORT, CAREER, EDUCATION, C OPING AND ATTACHMENT, AND THEI R R ELATIONSHIP IN MEDIATING PERCEIVED STRESS, COPING AND PERCEIVED COMPETENCE IN FIRST TIME MOTHERS By MARIAH SPENGLER A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GR ADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSIRY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Mariah Spengler

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3 This dissertation is dedicated to my family; m y husband J.O. and my children Caroline and Matthew.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank the many people who made this dissertation possible. I truly appreciate the time and support of my family, committee and colleagues over the course of this very l ong journey. Without their patience, commitment and support, this dissertation would not have been possible. I would like to thank my committee chair, Dr. Harry Daniels, for all the time and support he has put into this process. He was willing to take on a new and difficult project, and jump into it with an open mind. He always had an open door for questions, and was very open and accessible with his time for the many meetings we had as this project developed. I appreciate his insight and guidance throughou t this process as they have been invaluable. He is truly a great mentor. I would also like to thank my committee members for all of their support during this long journey. They were extremely supportive and patient as I worked through this process slowly w hile juggling work and motherhood. Dr Peter Sherrard for asking some tough questions which really had me digging deeper into the project as to better and more fully understand some of the concepts. Dr Sandra Smith, who brought in some additional theoretica l ideas that added a new dimension to the project. Dr David Miller, for being willing to jump on board in the middle of the project and having some wonderful insight as to some new directions the project could take from a statistical perspective, that allo wed me to move forward at a time I was stuck. I would also like to thank my friends and colleagues who offered a great deal of support and encouragement. They listened to me talk about the process of writing and juggling with a patient ear. I would especia lly like to thank Eric Thompson for all of his

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5 statistical support, and Jason Short for all of his computer support, without which I would have never finished. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank my family. My parents Mary Minor and Bo who always instilled the idea th at education was important and I should and could do whatever I wanted. My brother Rob who is always there for a good earful. My in laws John and Ann who let me spread out on their dining room table and work. I am especially gra teful to my husband J.O. for his love and patience as this took a lot of my time. His willingness to read my drafts and his editorial skills were very valuable throughout this process. To my children Caroline and Matthew who have patiently waited for me to I am so excited to be able to spend all of my free time with you guys!

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................ ................................ ............................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 14 Theoretical Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 16 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 20 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 21 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 21 2 REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH ................................ ................................ ............... 23 Stress ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 23 Support ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 40 Competence or Preparedness and Confidence ................................ ...................... 57 Working Mothe rs ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 62 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 73 Statement of Purpose ................................ ................................ ............................. 73 Population ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 73 Sample and Sampling Procedures ................................ ................................ ......... 74 Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 75 Delineation of Relevant Variables ................................ ................................ ........... 76 Dependent Variables ................................ ................................ ........................ 76 Independent Variables ................................ ................................ ..................... 76 Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 77 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 78 Demographic Questionnaire ................................ ................................ ............. 78 Infant Care Survey ................................ ................................ ........................... 78 Perceived Adequacy of Resources Scale ................................ ........................ 79 Parenting Stress Index ................................ ................................ ..................... 80 Parenting Sense of Compe tency ................................ ................................ ...... 81 Physical Self Perception Profile ................................ ................................ ........ 81 State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire ................................ ................................ .... 83 COPE ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 83

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7 Attachment Scale ................................ ................................ ............................. 84 Personal Resource Questionnaire ................................ ................................ .... 84 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 85 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 87 Description of Sample ................................ ................................ ............................. 87 Descriptive Stat istics ................................ ................................ ............................... 88 Test of Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ 94 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 127 Limitations, Conclusions and Discussion ................................ .............................. 127 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 174 Future Research ................................ ................................ ............................. 174 Practice ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 176 Education ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 178 APPENDIX A IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 181 B PARTICIPANT FLYER ................................ ................................ .......................... 183 C INTRODUCTION AND INSTRUCTIONS ................................ .............................. 184 D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ .... 185 E SURVEY INSTR UMENTS ................................ ................................ .................... 188 Attachment Representation Scale ................................ ................................ ........ 188 COPE ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 189 Infant Care Surve y ................................ ................................ ................................ 192 PSOC ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 195 Parenting Stress Index ................................ ................................ .......................... 197 Perceived Adequacy of Resources Scale ................................ ............................. 198 Personal Resource Questionnaire ................................ ................................ ........ 200 The Physical Self Perception Profile (PSPP) ................................ ........................ 202 State Trait Anxiety Scale ................................ ................................ ..................... 207 F THANK YOU NOTE ................................ ................................ .............................. 20 8 G SUMMARY OF THE MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR THE INSTR UMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 209 H PSI CHILD DOMAIN SUBSCALE MEAN AND SD COMPARISON ...................... 212 I PSI PARENT DOMAIN SUBSCALE MEAN AND SD COMPARISON .................. 213

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8 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 214 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 232

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Summary of relationship between exercise, perceived stress, perceived competence ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 117 4 2 Summary of relationship between body image, perceived stress and percei ved competence. ................................ ................................ .................... 118 4 3 Summary of relationship between perceived support, perceived stress and perceived competence ................................ ................................ ..................... 119 4 4 T test fo r equality of means between work, perceived stress and perceived competence. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 120 4 5 Summary of the Means and SD for choice in Parenting Education. ................. 121 4 6 Summary of relationship between Coping, perceived stress and perceived competence. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 122 4 7 Summary of relationship between attachment to mother, perceived stress and perceiv ed competence. ................................ ................................ ............. 123 4 8 Summary of relationship between attachment to child, perceived stress and perceived competence ................................ ................................ ..................... 124 4 9 Summary of Independent Samples Test for Support From Friends .................. 125 4 10 Summary of Independent Samples Test Summary Table for Support from Family ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 126

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10 Abstract of Disserta tion Presented to the Graduate School Of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy FITNESS, SUPPORT, CAREER, EDUCATION, COPING AND ATTACHMENT, AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP IN MEDI ATING PERCEIVED STRESS, COPING AND PERCEIVED COMPETENCE IN FIRST TIME MOTHERS By Mariah Spengler August 2010 Chair: M. Harry Daniels Major : Mental Health Counseling The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between level of fitness level of support, attachment, career and child care education, and perceived level of stress and perceived child care competence in first time mothers with healthy newborns. A cross sectional convenience sample was used to conduct the study. Participants were first time mothers with no pregnancy or delivery complications. First time mothers were defined as married women between the ages of 24 35 who were between 2 months and 8 months post partum, experienced no complications during their pregnancy or wit h the delivery and no health issues with the baby. The sample was drawn from patients who were being seen by healthcare personnel at or associated with Shands or North Florida Hospital, the University of Florida, referrals from friends and other participan ts. Most of the participants were from within Alachua county Florida, although there were some from outside the area due to the referral process. T he sample of participants was one that was older, highly educated and mostly middle class.

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11 Separate analyses were conducted for each of the eight (8) research hypotheses. The analyses examined relationships among variables using the appropriate correlation coefficients. Tests for differences were examined using t for independent groups Results for the s tudy were conflicting and may be linked to the expressive and instrumental components of parenting that were identified in the study. This study found a distinct pattern in which two dimensions of parental knowledge seem to be tapped. The questionnaires us ed as well as the constructs they were measuring can be broken into the categories of instrumental and expressive. The different focus of the instruments contributed to the fact that many of the results seemed to conflict with one another. It is clear in t his study that many of the concepts examined in the study may change across time. Self efficacy, stress, maternal self confidence, attachment, perceived support, work stressors and others are fluid and are likely to change at any time as other factors inte ract with them. There was also a generational pattern detected that more hold further implications in the area of support for new mothers. Specifically, it efficacy decrease d. Support was also found to be an important factor for new mothers. Support appears to be valued no matter where it comes from. The findings of this study make an important contribution in the identification of some of the factors that may be important, as well as some themes that should be explored further to better understand these factors and how and when they may play a role in

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Becoming a mother for the first time is a joyful yet stressful experience with many questions and unknowns for the mother. Thus it seems necessary to understand the factors involved and to provide information to new mothers to help them experience minimal stress and to maximize their feelings of competence in caring for their child during this time of transition. To date many studies have been conducted looking at various factors involved in the adjustment to motherhood. In a 1987 study Bohlin and Hagekull looked at maternal attitude using the concept of maternal preoccupation. Mater nal preoccupation is described as a cognitive emotional state that begins in pregnancy and continues throughout the infants first year of life. It is a state where the mother is focused on herself and her infant. They found that this focus may be interrupt ed and lowered by things such as poor living conditions, poor spousal support and poor self confidence as a caretaker. Numerous studies have focused on the mother child relationship and the many factors that effect it (Lazarus & Folkman 1984; Crnic & Greenberg 1990; Ostberg & Hagekull 2000; Belsky 1981; Rapoport & Rapoport 1976). The mother child relationship has been a prime area of focus because of the effect the relationship is believed to have on the development of the child. Attachment theory intr oduced the notion that maternal emotional development (Aisnworth, Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1969). Object relations theory (Winnicott, 1976) linked maternal preoccupation or the cognitive em otional state of the mother, and infant

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13 healthy development of the child. It is important to note that as the mother child relationship is an important area of focus du e to the implications that relationship has on the development and well being of the child, a key component of that relationship is the well being of the mother both mentally and physically. Maternal self esteem is defined as the value a woman places on h erself as a mother (Wells and Marwell, 1976). It is thought that the self evaluation as a mother reflected in maternal self concept or her global identity as defined by Rosenberg (1965). It is important to note the difference between the concepts of maternal self esteem, self concept and self confidence. Maternal self confidence is defined by Wells and Marwell (1976) as the cognitive process associated with self evaluation. Maternal self esteem is affected by va riables such as social support, newborn health status both real and perceived and newborn characteristics such as behavior (Shea & Tronick, 1988; McGrath, 1988). It has also been shown with mixed results that maternal self esteem may be affected by demogra phic, socioeconomic, education level variables as well as relationship with ones healthcare providers ( Shea & Tronick, 1988; McGrath, 1988). McGrath and Meyer, (1992) concluded that in order to facilitate maternal self esteem focus needed to be on both m aternal skills as well as a mothers self appraisal of herself as a mother. Maternal self esteem and maternal self confidence are a large component of level of stress experienced by new mothers. How are these concepts affected by different types of support, career choice, level of perceived fitness and perceived level of competence obtained through education and preparation?

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14 The transition to first time parenthood has been described in past literature by many as a crisis. This crisis is created through probl ems and concerns ranging from external to physical and emotional. Russell (1974) examined the problems and pleasures of the transition to first time parenthood. She found that among those variables associated with level of crisis in the transition to paren thood were: Marital adjustment, planned pregnancy, mothers who worked before having a child, pre marital class, income level, level of education, and preparation for parenthood. Among those variables found to be To date most studies involving new mothers and infants examining factors such as stress, feelings of competence and levels of support have focused on special populations such as teen mothers, divorced or single parents, parents of premature infants or parents of infants with d isabilities and or other health concerns. Comparatively little research has been done looking at the general population of cross cultural first time mothers with a healthy newborn. Additional research is needed to determine how first time mothers cope with stress and how the combination of fitness level, support systems, career choices and education for preparation and support affect the stress level and perception of competence in first time mothers during the transition period from the beginning of the fi rst trimester until 8 months post partum. Statement of the Problem In the past several decades much attention has been given to researching the transition from no n parent to parent and the factors that affect it as well as the many

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15 variables that affect ne w mothers. Most of the current studies involving new mothers and infants examine variables with a focus on special populations such as teen mothers, divorced or single parents, parents of premature infants or parents of infants with disabilities and or oth er health concerns. Comparatively little research has been done looking at a general population of first time mothers with a healthy newborn. It is important to understand how new mothers may cope with the stress of becoming a first time mother. It is als o important to understand what the greatest sources of stress are for first time mothers as these may differ from those of mothers who are single, very young or old for being a first time mother, or those who are dealing with a difficult pregnancy and vari ous other infant health concerns. How a new mother copes with the stress of the transition from the beginning of the first trimester to the end of the eighth month post partum may be related to how confident and competent they feel as a mother. How confid ent and competent they feel as a new mother may affect how the cope with stress. Various types of stressors may affect how confident and competent new mothers feel as well as how they cope with stress. State v ersu s trait stress may also play a role. New mo thers have a certain level of stress indicative of who they are and then they have the situational stress that occurs. The relationship among these and other variables has yet to be determined. Additional research is needed to determine how first time moth ers cope with stress and how the combination of fitness level, support systems, career choices and education for preparation and support affect the stress level and perception of competence in first time mothers. If we are to promote healthy relationships between

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16 mothers and their newborn infants we must better understand the factors that may affect this relationship that is so critical to the development of young children. How might exercise and body image effect levels of stress experienced by new mothers social supports effect her stress level and her perception of competence in caring for her newborn? This study, therefore, investigated the relationship between fitness level, support, career, amount and type of education and training, stress and perceived competence. Theoretical Model Self Efficacy T heory was used to guide the resear ch. In order to better understand Self Efficacy T heory one must first understand how it came S ocial L earning T heory, Bandura advanced beliefs on human functioning by introducing the ide a that humans are self organizing, self reflecting, self position contrasted the belief that people are reactive beings driven by our environment. Bandura believed that how an individual functions is the result of person al, behavioral and environmental influences. Therefore, strategies aimed at improving the well being of individuals, should be focused on improving their emotional, cognitive and motivational processes as well as increasing their behavioral competencies an d changing the social conditions in which people live and work (Pajares, 2002). by the environment it is important to understand how the individual cognitively process es and interprets the environment. It is thought that environmental and social

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17 According to social cognitive theory factors such as education, family, socioeconomic statu emotional state, personal standards, aspirations, self efficacy beliefs and other self regulating influences (Pajares, 2002). Social C ognitive T re proactive in their own development and through their actions can make things happen. They have self beliefs that give them control over what they think, believe, feel and how they behave ut themselves are a critical element. Also, important to understand about S ocial C ognitive T heory is the their environment; forethought or creating a plan of action and anticipating the possible consequences of those actions; vicarious learning through their own experiences and the behavior of those around them; self regulation that enable them to change their behavior when necessary; and self reflection necessary to mak e sense of their experiences, explore their beliefs, self evaluate and make changes where needed. This basic assumption is what gives individuals the freedom to create their own destiny (Bandura, 1986). In 1977, Bandura introduced a new concept he felt had been missing from his original S ocial C ognitive T heory, the concept of self efficacy or self beliefs (Pajares, 2002). Self efficacy is both a personal and a social construct. This concept is believed ll being and accomplishment. Bandura believed that unless people believe that their behavior can create a desired

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18 outcome they have no incentive to continue in the face of adversities. Self efficacy is an and execute the performance of an action. Self efficacy beliefs are created in four ways according to Pajares, (2002). The first and most influential source is mastery of experience. Individuals learn from past experiences. The second source is vicarious experience or learning by observing others. Social persuasion is the third source of self efficacy in which others provide positive or negative persuasive feedback which may serve to strengthen or weaken ones self efficacy. Last are somatic and emotional states which provide feedback as to level of confidence. This may include emotions felt such as anxiety, stress, peace and other mood states while an individual reviews a behavior. Simon (1995) on to affective self asses s ment. She discusses that for Bandura, self monitoring is an existing cognitive ol influences that regulate motivation which include: perceived self efficacy affect ive self evaluation, and the adjustment of personal standards upon attainment. She describes this as an evaluative and adaptive process. Simon brought to light the more expressive dimension of self efficacy theory which had previously been more focused on its instrumental elements. It is noted that what one believes and what is real are often not congruent. People usually act based on their beliefs, therefore their achievements are better predicted by

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19 their beliefs than by their knowledge and skills. It is important to note that if knowledge and skill are absent high self efficacy will not generate a positive outcome. Self efficacy plays a role in determining how an individual will apply their knowledge and skill and is a function itself of how much skill a nd knowledge an individual has obtained (Pajares, 2002). Self beliefs impact the choices we make and the way we choose to act (Pajares, 2002). We tend to choose activities and situation with which we feel confident and competent and avoid those in which w e do not. According to Bandura, self efficacy a person will put into an activity, how long they will persevere when facing adversity and how resilient they will be (Ba ndura, 1984). Low self efficacy generates feelings of anxiety, stress and depression due to beliefs that a situation is harder than it is while high self efficacy generates calmer feelings due the belief that a situation is doable (Pajares, 2002). The rol e that self variety of factors such as lack of resources, perceived social restraints or low incentive which may lead to someone with high self efficacy not to perform. Because self efficacy is affected by experiences and is subject to change it is important to assess it occasionally to see how experiences may have effected it. For the purpose of this study S elf E fficacy T heory was applied. First time mothers are faced with the new task of ca ring for an infant. How they approach this task may be affected by their beliefs surrounding their level of competence in performing the caretaking task. Self efficacy is a powerful influence which individuals have the

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20 capability of controlling. It has bee n suggested that one way to improve self efficacy is to improve physical and emotional well being and decreasing negative emotional states which has been shown to decrease self efficacy. I hope to establish a better understanding of the multiple factors af fecting new mothers such as beliefs about fitness level, support, career, attachment and education preparedness as they pertain to level of stress and perceived competence. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to investigate the relation ship between level of fitness, level of support, attachment, career and child care education, and perceived level of stress and perceived child care competence in first time mothers with healthy newborns. Specifically, this study looked at married women be tween the ages of 24 35 who had an uneventful pregnancy. These women came from various ethnic groups, socioeconomic status and educational backgrounds. They responded to self report surveys anywhere between 2 months and 8 months post partum regarding feeli ngs of competence and confidence in their caretaking ability, fitness level, body image, attachment to their mother and child, perceived sources and amount of support, pre and post newborn education and career choices. More specifically, the following rese arch questions were asked: 1. Is there a relationship between exercise and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers? 2. Is there a relationship between body image and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers? 3. I s there a relationship between available support and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers? 4. Is there a difference levels of perceived of stress and competence?

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21 5. Is there a diffrence b etween pre and post natal childcare education and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers? 6. of competence and stress? 7. Is there a relationship betwe and their perceived level of stress and competence? 8. Is there a difference between perceived support levels and perceived stress and competence? Significance of the S tudy This study sou ght to determine the relationship level of fitness, available support, attachment, having a career or not, child care education and perceived level of stress and perceived level of child care competence in first time mothers. If there is a relationship and we can determine the nature of it, can we provide a means of possibly determining those new mothers at greater risk for high perceived stress and low perceived infant care competence. In identifying those at risk we are able to take more preventive measur es and get involved to better prepare new mothers for the transition to motherhood and help insure their successful experience as a mother and to strengthen the mother child relationship. Definition of Terms For the purpose of this study, the following ter ms are used in the manner defined. Body Image appearance. Career time and it may be from a home or outsi de office. Competence The perception one has as to how prepared they believe they are and how confident they are in their preparations and actual ability to carry various task through.

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22 Coping A response to perceived stress. A factor that indicates how we ll an individual maintains psychosocial adaptation during times of stress; it employs cognitive and behavioral techniques to reduce or eliminate stressful conditions and associated emotional distress. Education Refers to any outside information one obtain s whether through newborn care classes, family and friends, hospital personnel, written literature or post natal support groups or play groups. Fitness A perception of one s personal health and wellness in regards to how they believe they look and feel. A lso a measure of how much physical activity they participate in pre and post childbirth. Maternal Parenting Stress perception, that the changes and demands that are associated with the mothering rol (Mulsow, Caldera, Pursley, Reifman & Huston, 2002). Race/Ethnicity Caucasian Self efficacy self confidence in performing. This is the link between self confidence that a task can be completed successfully. Social Support Real and perceived support from family, friends, spouse, co workers, neighbors and community resources. A multidimensional construct an individual receives through formal and informal so cial contacts that may be in the form of comfort, information and assistance. Socioeconomic Status level of edu cation, economic status, occupation and cultural background. Stress A physical or emotional situation, experience, event etc. that causes an individual distress or discomfort.

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23 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE RESEAR CH Becoming a parent is a major transition. So me have called it a positive life stressor while others have termed it a major life crisis. No matter how it is looked at there is no argument that it is a major life event that creates change and requires adjustment. How this change is approached and what effect it has on those involved is a product of many factors. Stress is one of the most discussed issues that come up for parents with the birth of a child. There are gratifications as well as problems with the arrival of a new baby. For new parents there is a transition to taking on a new role, decreased sleep, adjusting to the needs of a new family member, learning how to care for a newborn, learning how to juggle multiple tasks, time management issues, decrease or lack of personal time, redefining exist ing roles and workloads, and physical and emotional changes. This transition and the resulting level of stress can be further influenced by the support new parents receive from friends, family and outside sources, how prepared and confident the parents fee l and what other demands are placed upon them. Research has been done looking at multiple facets of the transition into parenthood for first time parents. The purpose of this literature review is to examine the relationship between level of stress, level of competence and confidence, amount of support and working vs. staying at home in first time mothers. For organizational purposes, the literature is presented in the following order: (a) stressors; (b) level of support; (c) level of parental competence a nd confidence; and (d) working mothers. Stress One of the ways self efficacy beliefs are created is through feedback received through ones emotional state. Low self efficacy is known to generate feelings of stress

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24 and anxiety due to beliefs that a situatio n is harder than it really is (Pajares, 2002). Since low self efficacy is known to affect how a person reacts to a situation, how much effort they will put into it and long they will persevere in the face of perceived adversity, it is important to understa nd more about its relationship with stress in new mothers. If low self efficacy can generate feelings of stress it might be assumed that stress can also generate feelings of low self efficacy. This has yet to be explored. It has been suggested that a means of improving self efficacy is to improve one s physical and emotional states of being while decreasing negative emotional states. It is important to review the literature on stress in order to get a better understanding of the construct. It is well kno wn and documented that becoming a parent is a stressful event. confront a situation in which the demands upon them exceed their abilities, or when they are unable to fulfil l strong needs or values (Cronenwett & Kunst Wilson, 1981, components he believed w ere necessary in any stress paradigm. These components objective social conditions conducive to stress, enduring outcomes of perceived stress and stress responses, and t he individual and situational variables that determine the relationship between the other four factors. House (1981) said that coping responses to stress are behavioral and serve to alter the nature of the situation, or they are defensive and function to a lter the perception of the situation. Cronenwett & Kunst Wilson (1981) had a good description of role conflict. They said that role conflict occurs when an

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25 one would preve nt or conflict with compliance to another. This is important to know since the concept of role concept comes up repeatedly throughout the literature. Wheaton (1983) investigated interactive models that identified environmental and personal factors that ma y affect the impact of stressors such as contextual features that determine threat use of coping strategies, social support and individual personality characteristics. It is important to note the difference between acute and chronic stressors. Acute stress ors are short lived and have a clear beginning and end. Chronic stressors are more lingering and persistent. When looking at coping resources there are environmental resources that include outside sources such as social support, and personal resources or p ersonality traits that determine how an individual deals with stress. Stress often occurs with events that are unpredictable and out of the control of those being effected. There is no determination as to which of the many coping strategies available are most effective in decreasing stress, getting rid of the problem and preventing future difficulties. There are many factors that may influence the association between coping resources and the outcomes of stress such as the type and severity of the stress. I n 1987, Aldwin and Revenson noted several issues that needed to be studied including the causal directionality of mental health and coping resources, the additive and interaction components of coping resources, and the effect of coping efficacy on coping s trategies and psychological symptomology. They noted that it is not clear whether or not poor coping are a cause or a result of poor psychological outcomes. They also noted that there are currently two ways to view the mechanism through which coping is

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26 ass ociated with psychological health. The additive or main effect model suggests that coping affects well being regardless of the type or severity of the stressor. The interaction model suggests that coping moderates stress dependent on the type and severity of the stressor. Last, it was noted that most studies relating coping to health outcomes (coping effectiveness), ignored whether or not the coping efforts were Lazarus and Folkman (1984) s aw coping as a response to stress that is perceived. It has been suggested that stress itself may be less important for mental health than how a person perceives it and copes with it (Lazarus, 1981). In 1987, Aldwin and Revenson looked at the relationship between coping and mental health to determine if coping helps. They looked at causal directionality, additive v er s us buffering effect and perceived coping efficacy. They found three problem focused coping strategies, four emotion focused coping strategies and one social support strategy. These factors were: escapism, instrumental action, minimization, support mobilization, self blame, negotiation and meaning seeking. It was noted that when instrumental action was used as a coping strategy an increase in str ess did not increase symptoms of distress while when negotiation was used as a coping strategy there was some increase in distress symptoms when under high levels of stress. It was also noted that when negotiation was perceived as effective it decreased st ress symptoms while when not perceived as effective it increased stress symptoms. They found that emotion focused coping skills had direct effects on stress and health while problem focused coping skills had interactive effects. It was suggested that direc t effects are tied to personality meaning and that how someone deals with emotions is a function of their personality.

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27 Instrumental action and negotiation were the only coping factors to show a significant interaction between coping and efficacy. They prop osed that it may depend on whether or not problem focused coping works for a person as to whether or not it decreases stress. Overall, they found that the coping strategies analyzed in their study increased rather than reduced stress. Coping assumes that people who are faced with stress will actively respond to it in to external life It was noted that most problems individuals cope with are those that are persistent. In their study they focused on people involved in ordinary required pursuits instead of those faced with extreme demands to examine the structure of coping. They looked at problematic life circumstances, various coping mechanisms used to deal with problems, choice and their social characteristics. They discussed three types of coping: social resources, ps ychological resources and specific responses. Social resources are those interpersonal networks of co workers, friends, family and neighbors that an individual is personality characteristics that they call upon when threatened. Specific coping responses are the activities an individual engages in when facing a problem. They further found that those responses that modify a situation are the most direct coping mechanisms as a per son tries to eliminate the stress source. It was also noted that even when the stress source is not eliminated it may be buffered by controlling the

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28 situation and the meaning they give it that determines the degree to which it is threatening. When looking at coping efficacy, Pearlin and Schooler (1978) suggested it should not be based solely on whether or not the coping mechanism solves the problem, but also on how we ll it prevents the problems from causing emotional stress. Pearlin and Schooler (1978) also found that having one good coping resource is not as important as having a variety of coping resources to pull from. Likewise, the more coping responses used the be tter. It was interesting to note that they also found that age, gender, education and income were associated with coping skills. There was no overall difference in coping efficacy between older and younger adults, however the young tend to have more of a s ense of mastery that helps with coping while the old seem to have more self reliance which helps with coping. It was determined that those who are less educated and have less money are prone to more stress producing hardships and have fewer coping resource s to pull from. Among new parents it has been shown that stressors increase 1 8 months post partum, especially for new mothers. Stressors at the 3 rd month postpartum include job, finances, household duties, family, child and spouse interactions and respons ibilities (Belsky, Spanier & Rovine, 1983). During the 3 rd month post partum new parents struggle with role overload, lack of time, work stress and more (Voydanoff & Kelly, 1984). After the 3 rd month post temp erament can be a source of stress (Ventura & Stevenson, 1986). Stress surrounding childcare and interactions with ones spouse are also not uncommon since finding good and affordable childcare is difficult and marital satisfaction has been shown

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29 to decreas e for new parents. It has been suggested by Hochschild (1983) that interactions with family and friends about child care activities can be stressful since more mothers now work and performing traditional roles is more difficult. Likewise many friends and f amily are no longer available for support and help with infant care as they are in the work force Voydanoff, (1985). In 1987, Ventura examined the stresses of parenthood incorporating family stress theory. She wanted to increase the understanding of the na ture of stress and its implications. She felt it was important because stress can result in physical and mental health risks, decreased productivity for described their stres sors as keeping up with household duties, full time work, caring for their spouse and infant while trying to accomplish personal tasks. Fathers described their stressors as work related. It was noted that financial concerns were a common reason these stres sors came up. It was also found that mothers struggled with feelings of guilt when they had to choose between staying at home and having to work as well as caring for fussy infants. Fathers felt frustrated when they could not help a cranky infant. Mothers also expressed concern over lack of alone time and being too tired to engage in sexual relations with their husbands. Overall Ventura (1987) concluded that the birth of a child could leave parents tired and frustrated with less time for themselves and each other. Many women expressed resentment towards the traditional roles of being a mother and spouse and reported experiencing changes in self image and feelings toward their spouse. Division of labor at home was a huge stressor for those interviewed. Ventur a (1987) suggests that programs should include parent education and home care which includes information about development, illness, safety,

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30 coordination of child care and other problem solving issues throughout the first year post partum. In 2001, Dunn, B urbine, Bowers & Tantleff Dunn looked at stress moderators in parents who had children with autism because it has been shown that these parents have more stress, negative health outcomes and decreased marital satisfaction than those parents who have childr en without disabilities. It has been shown (Rodrigue, Morgan & Geffken, 1990) that mothers who have children with autism report feeling less competence, less adaptability and more marital dissatisfaction than mothers who have children with other disabiliti es. Dunn, Burbine, Bowers & Tantleff Dunn (2001) discussed appraisal and coping cognitive mediation, social support and locus of control. How an individual appraises a situation determines whether or not it is stressful. This appraisal can minimize stress utilizing coping skills. Social support has been found to be a good coping mechanism. Mothers who feel they have access to good social support report fewer stress related problems (Gill & Harris, 1991), and support has been related to decreased rates of de pression and anxiety (Gray & Holden, 1992). Locus of control is a factor that affects social support. Internal locus of control has been related to decreases in stress (Bristol & Schopler, 1983) while external locus of control has been associated with incr eased depression, anxiety and a lack of benefit from social support (Johnson & Sarason, 1978). Dunn, Burbine, Bowers & Tantleff Dunn (2001) looked at stressors, social support, locus of control, coping style and negative outcomes in parents who had childre n with autism. They hypothesized that parents with poor social support, poor coping skills and external locus of control would have negative outcomes and that locus of control would be the moderating factor between social support and

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31 locus of control. They found that increased social support reduced marital problems and that coping style was a strong predictor of marital problems. They also found that a decrease in social support was more likely to lead to isolation with increased stress. Internal locus of control was found to be associated with less depression and isolation. Coping styles were found to be the most important component often overshadowing locus of control and social support. The escape avoidance coping style was found to be associated with in creased depression, isolation and marital difficulties. Overall stressors were not a predictor for negative outcomes, and the impact they had was determined by social support and coping style. The authors concluded that it might be important to help parent s learn and use confrontive coping measures and to have social support. It has been suggested that single parent families may have more stress, fewer coping resources, more economic struggles and less social support than families where the parents are marr ied (McLanahan & Booth, 1989). It is thought that the decreased income of a single parent home leads to economic stress which may decrease an resources may limit social an d recreational activities that provide social support and lead to stressors like job changes, moving, and getting a loan (Simons, Beaman, Conger & Chao, 1993). It was suggested by Belsky & Vondra (1989) that social support is a primary support system for s ingle parents while only a secondary support system for married parents. Level of education is thought to impact stress and coping in that more highly educated individuals are thought to have more income and more available social support due to involvement in organizations and good social skills (Fischer, 1982). In 1993, Simons, Beaman, Conger and Chao looked at a model that included

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32 income, economic pressure, social support, stressful life events, education and antisocial traits to determine how they relat e to emotional well being and parenting in single parents. It was found that increased psychological distress was associated with decreased social support and economic pressure, negative events and antisocial traits. Income and education were associated wi th one another and social support but negatively associated with economic pressure and antisocial traits. Overall, single mothers were found to have lower income and more economic strain, which made them more susceptible to experiencing negative life event s, and not have good social support. Lower level of education was also found to be associated with a smaller available social network. It was also found that mothers with high antisocial traits were more at risk for poor emotional health and poor parenting skills. The authors note that there is evidence that these factors may affect the emotional well being and parenting of both married parents and single parents. Cairney, Thorpe, Rietschlin & Avison (1999) found that among Canadian women, single mothers we re twice as likely than married mothers to suffer from major depression. This could be because they are exposed to more stress or that they are more susceptible to the stressors they are exposed to. Lipman, MacMillan & Boyle (2001) found that single mother s suffered from higher rates of anxiety and substance abuse than married mothers. It has been suggested by many that being a single mothers limits social support and encourages isolation by limiting contact with friends and social organizations. It is poss ible, however that family and friends may try to offer more support for single mothers knowing the traditional support provided by a spouse is

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33 not available. It is also possible that the effect of social support may be different for single mothers than it is for married mothers. In 2003, Cairney, Boyle, Offord and Racine looked at effects of stress and social support on single parents and depression. They wanted to know how much of the relationship between family structure (single v ersus married mothers) an d depression could be accounted for through exposure to stressful events and differences in social support. They also sought to find out if single mothers were more susceptible to stress than married mothers, and we re there differences between single and m arried mothers in the effect social support has on depression. They found that single mothers were more likely to be younger, poor and less educated than their married counterparts and report higher levels of stress, less perceived social support and socia l involvement and more childhood difficulties than married mothers. Overall, their findings suggest that stress plays a significant role in the interaction between family structure and depression and that the relationship between recent life events and dep ression was dependent on family structure with married mothers being effected by life events and depression more than single mothers. Also, more life events were related to greater depression. It is suggested that single mothers are effected less by negati ve events because they are already faced with significant chronic stress while married mothers do not have the same experiences with negative life events to help them buffer multiple stressors. Social support was found to have a moderate relationship with family structure and well being. In 2003, Middlemiss looked at poverty, stress, support and parenting behaviors in lower income African American and white mothers. They believed both groups of mothers would report high stress levels due to their poor econo mic status and low social

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34 support. They also believed that African American mothers would report higher stress levels and lower support levels than white mothers due to the increased incidence of persistent poverty African Americans face v ersu s the transit ory poverty whites face. It was found that both white and African American mothers reported high levels of stress with African American mothers reporting stress more frequently. They also found that both groups of mothers reported low social support, howev er those with partners reported more community based resources. It is suggested that lower income families have more trouble accessing support in community resources. In 1980, Miller and Sollie noted that it might be difficult for new parents to answer qu estions about the changes in their lives objectively with the arrival of a child. They conducted a study taking this into account by studying couples over a period of time and measuring stress during the transition to parenthood with the goal of avoiding s ocially about their feelings. They found that new mothers had lower stress scores than their spouses prior to the birth of the child but significantly higher stress scores (both personal and marital) than their spouses post partum. Overall, it is noted that new parents experience an increase in stress and a decrease in well being for at least the first year post partum. They also found that although preparation for becoming a new parent through reading, and classes increased a parents feeling of preparedness and competence it in no way gave them the full effect of how to prepare for the constant needs of a newborn. They found that a common theme among the new mothers followed was a change from having an orderly and predictable life to one that was unpredictable and full of disorder. Adaptability, patience and organizational skills were

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35 some of the coping skills found to be useful. They also found that a major stressor theme th at arose was balancing motherhood with a career. In 1984, Lazarus suggested that the accumulation of minor every day stressors could effect how individuals adapt to stress and how they perceive the stressor will effect how it impacts them. Research has sh stressors is a stronger predictor of well being than major life event stressors. Daily hassles or stressors have been defined by Crnic and Greenberg (1990) as those that are irritating, frustrating, annoying and demanding. Stress has been associated with poor parenting and a decrease in child development due to poor parent child interactions. This led to research by Crnic and Greenberg (1990) that examined minor paren ting stressors with young children. They wanted to identify the frequency and intensity of hassles and determine their relationship with parenting, family status and parent child interactions and also to determine the relationship between parental function ing and minor parenting stressors and social supports for mothers. They found that minor parenting hassles were a significant source of stress and were a strong predictor of mother, child and family status. They found minor parenting hassles were also rela ted to decrease s in parenting perception of the stressor was a strong predictor of level of stress and well being, and fect child behavior. There was no significant relationship found between minor parenting stressors and maternal behavior, Support was found to be a moderator of stressors an d affected their interactive

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36 behavior. Support from a spouse was found to not have the same significance as a stress moderator. This is in contrast to previous studies that suggested spousal support as a strong moderator for stress. Crnic and Greenberg (19 90) suggest that perhaps mothers need more support from their husbands in the form of assistance with childcare than emotional support. Following the research of Crnic and Greenberg (1990), Crnic and Booth (1991) tions of daily hassles during early childhood. They suggest that parents who have a better understanding of childhood development may experience less stress with everyday parenting issues. They theorize that the perception of parenting daily hassles may be parenting and their knowledge of child development. They also found that daily hassles associated with parenting were strong predictors of well being but they noted some association with the age of the child possibly due to the variety of situations and behaviors that occur at different ages. The daily hassles were found to effect mothers and fathers differently when the child was at different ages. It was also found that parental support through various social networ ks moderated the impact of stressors on parents by affecting their parental attitude. They noted that family support was found more useful for decreasing hassles for mothers while friend support was found to be more useful in decreasing hassles for fathers Marital support was not found to be useful in decreasing hassles for either parent. It was found to have a significant indirect effect by protecting parents from the stress effects of accumulated daily parenting hassles. They suggested that when looking at support and stress it is important to

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37 consider that they may be opposite ends of the same continuum and not at all independent of one another. Previous bouts of depression are predictive of post partum depression (Gotlib, Whiffen, Wallace and Mount, 199 1) as are locus of control and social support (Cutrona, 1984). Knowing this information, the stress and coping model (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984) which proposes that access to coping resources, level of stress experienced and coping resources used, effect t he chances of a new mother suffering post partum depression, may be useful. Terry, Mayocchi and Hynes (1996) wanted to test the stress and coping model of post partum depression. They found that there were relationships between stress and coping responses and access to coping resources and post partum depression. The effects of coping were found to be somewhat dependent on level of stress. Family support as a coping resource was found to buffer the effect of infant temperament on depression. This was not tr ue for partner support. It was also found that generalized beliefs about control did not predict post partum depression. Sayil, Gure & Ucanok (2006) found that postpartum depression was associated with increased pre natal anxiety, increased post partum anx iety, decreased perceived satisfaction with spouses support, unplanned pregnancy, decreased self esteem and self efficacy and increased negative attitudes towards work including decreased work commitment and lack of perceived quality childcare options. It was suggested that since prenatal anxiety levels were associated with post partum depression symptoms, it would be important for expectant mothers to receive information related to anxiety and motherhood. They found that maternal global self worth and sel f efficacy were greatly associated with a

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38 Parenthood is associated with stress that according to Ostberg (1999) results from a discrepancy between personal resources and situational demands. Personal well being and m arital satisfaction (Lavee, Sharlin & Katz, 1996), role satisfaction, maternal self esteem and somatic and psychological symptomology (Koeske and Koeske, 1990) can be affected in a negative way by parenting stress. According to Crnic and Greenberg (1990) s ocial support is a means of reducing the negative impact of stress on new parents by increasing the resources available to them which allows for a decrease in the gap between personal resources and situational demands. It has also been found that insecure people are more prone to stress (Luecken, 1998). For these reasons, Sepa, Frodi and Ludvigsson (2004) conducted a study to test the idea of psycho immunological outcomes by looking at the psychological constructs of parenting stress, social support and con fidence in families in southeast Sweden. They felt that possible correlates of stress, social support and confidence were socio demographic variables (age, education, employment, marital status etc.), maternal psychological variables (child health, parenti ng role satisfaction etc.), lifestyle variables (smoking, drinking etc.) and characteristics of the child (gender, temperament, sleep patterns etc.). They found that poor sleep patterns in children and low parenting satisfaction were the best predictors of parental stress. They were not able to find a connection between parental stress and socio demographic variables or social support. There was a connection found between lack of confidence and lack of support, which suggested that individuals with low conf idence are less likely to seek support, and those that do seek support are more likely to be unhappy with it especially in situations like becoming a new parent. Lack of support and lack of confidence were found to be associated with

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39 increases in parenting stress. They suggest that in order to decrease parenting stress new parents should increase their support networks and decrease controllable stressors like household chores. st ress following the birth of their first child by identifying stressors and coping resources. They believed that in order to understand the stress new mothers face with the birth of a child they must understand the variables at play. Such variables may incl ude the marital age and socio temperament and more. They looked at daily stressors related to the b first child. Based on previous research (Campbell and Cohen, 1991), which suggests the demands on new parents to adjust, are greatest in the early post partum period Tessier et al. (1992) decided to focus on the first month post partum. They proposed experience of the stress. They categorized the variables examined into stressors and coping resources and individually looked at their effect on stress. T hey found that five variables; index of partners emotional support, health related activity level, ratio of task accomplishment, preoccupation with daily stressors and occurrence of daily stressors were responsible for 58.74% of the variance in the Psychol ogical Stress Measure (PSM). It is suggested that the experience of stress for new mothers occur in the way her daily life changes with the birth of a new baby and how involved her husband is with these changes and that perhaps stress can be reduced if the level of daily hassles is

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40 experience of stress and that emotional support from partners decreased the PSM score while a low perception of parenting ability increas ed the occurrence of daily stressor score. It is suggested that resource building through planning for the birth of the child could be beneficial. Overall they concluded it is the personal and social resources perceived as available to parents that effect the level of stress experienced the most. Support The vicarious experience of learning through others and social persuasion in the form of feedback from others are two ways in which self efficacy is created. Support from family, friends, community, spouse and support groups are potential ways of both receiving feedback and vicarious learning. The role self behavior may be influenced by factors such as lack of resources and perceived social restraints. Support from various s ources can contribute to ones self efficacy in both direct and indirect ways. An individual may learn from others thus increasing self efficacy while the perception of support or lack of support may increase or decrease self efficacy. For this reason it i s important to look at the literature on support. Research has shown a connection between women who lack adequate social support and negative outcomes such as difficult pregnancies and deliveries, and postpartum depression, while adequate social support is associated with better adaptation to parenthood. Many studies have shown a negative association between high stress events and low social support resulting in higher pathology and negative outcomes than when compared to high stress events and high social support. Depressive symptomology is known to effect parenting behaviors. Panzarine, Slater and Sharps (1995) felt that identifying factors that might prevent negative effects of maternal depressions is important. Social support has been identified in numer ous

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41 studies as one such factor known to improve well being and decrease depressive symptoms (Wandersman, Wandersman & Kahn, (1980). Coping is another factor that has been identified as a stress moderator, which can call on social support and addresses the problem and the negative emotions associated with the problem (Lazarus (1984). In their study, Panzarine, Slater and Sharps (1995) found that adolescents with symptoms of depression were less satisfied with their role as parent and reported less confidence in their parenting abilities. Fleming, Flett, Ruble and Shaul (1988) found a relationship between feelings of maternal adequacy and depression. They noted that some postpartum contributors towards feelings of maternal adequacy perceptions of social support from friends and family while feelings about care taking. It is possible that the stress associated with the birth of a first child is necessary in order to perceive social support as important (Grossman, Eichler & Winickoff, 1980). Research has supported the idea that social support has a positive effect on psychological well being but the relationship between social support and physical health i s still inconclusive (Kessler & Mcleod, 1985). Pregnancy is an event in which physical and mental health outcomes can be measured. Collins, Dunkel Schetter, Lobel & Scrimshaw (1993) examined the effects of social support in this context. They looked at pr enatal social support and its effect on birth outcomes and depression in lower income women. They also looked at whether or not different types of support were associated with physical and psychological well being. They found that women who received prenat al support had fewer difficulties in delivery and had healthier babies while women who were not satisfied with their pre

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42 natal support were at greater risk for depression. They also found that task and material support were associated with physical well be ing. This suggests that social support may be viewed as being comprised of a number of different constructs (Vaux, 1988). They concluded that support from others is associated with physical and mental health and support may play a role in whether or not they perceive the support as beneficial. Emotion induced physiological processes and health related behavioral patterns are two mechanisms that might explain the connection between social support and health (Cohen, 1988). Cohen (1988) suggests that social support may decrease the perception of events as stressful or increase self efficacy, Support can be available or actually received. It i s the receipt of support that is believed by some to create the stress buffering effect (Gore, 1985). Supportive relationships are thought to help women perceive pregnancy associated changes as less stressful by improving feelings of personal control, posi tive affect and well being (Norbeck & Anderson, 1989). It has been shown that mothers who have fewer social supports and mothers who have little experience in infant care are at a higher risk for developing these symptoms (Crockenberg, 1981). Also, a mothe level of fatigue can make the symptoms worse (Lips, 1985). In 1982, Slack, Parrott and Oates reported that mothers who received group therapy increased their skills in practical mothering, decreased their loneliness and increased th eir trust and understanding of themselves, their marriage and their family. In 1992, Fleming, Klein and Corter looked at mothers who received an eight week social support group compared to those who did not and found that social support had no effect on mo

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43 mood, negative effects on their maternal attitude and positive effects on their mother infant interactions. They suggested that results may be due to the type of support group provided which may not have provided adequate support and practical infor mation about being a mother that would be of importance in addressing new mothers lack of experience and poor self confidence, which have been shown to lead to depressive mood states. I nd beliefs as they pertained to talking about the stress of parenting and symptoms of support was reported frequently as a stressor, with perceived lack of support from their spouse being exceptionally difficult. Mothers in their study consistently expressed a need to share parenting experiences, especially with other mothers, feeling they were a strong source of support, and that they could gain valuable information and advice that helped process their feelings an help them become better parents. Some mothers may person they have contact with to discuss issues about their child. He neghan, Mercer & DeLeone (2004), found that when it came to discussing feelings and other issues aside distrust because they feared being judged. Upon closer examination it was discovered had a fear that their request for help, or admission of unce rtainty would be interpreted

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44 reluctance to speak to professionals about parenting issues they may be experiencing. Floran, Mikulincer & Bucholtz (1995) used attachment theory to look at social support. They found that secure individuals were more likely to view significant others as providing high levels of support and had a stronger relationship between perception and seeking support than their insecure counterparts. They noted that partners and friends were viewed as sources of emotional support, fathers as sources of instrumental support and mothers as sources of emotional and instr umental support. Sethi (1995) talked about maternal commitment as a bond between a mother and child that helped mother and change their personal commitments was noted to be an important piece of the transition to motherhood, and one that strengthened early on in the postpartum responsibility (Barlow & Cairns, 1997). Cudmore (1997), also noted t hat many mothers beyond just the daily care of the child. learn and give upon having their c hild, and how different it was from what they had expected. Despite preparation, many reported feeling overwhelmed and unprepared as well as emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted (Barclay, Everitt, Rogan, Schmied & Wyllie, 1997). Many reported the y preferred to learn on their own due to confusing and conflicting professional advice, as well as feeling they were being judged for incompetence vs supported (Barclay et al., 1997). Mothers reported it was helpful to

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45 be with other new mothers to provide a sense of not being alone in their incompetence. Mothers also reported that having friends and family to discuss things with was important in reassuring them and building self confidence Emotional support is important for pregnant women. It has been repo rted by Kalil, relationship in decreasing stress and anxiety during pregnancy. In 2000, Hatta, Kadobayashi, Iwamoto and Kasai wanted to determine how pregnant women percei ved their families and who was considered the most important person to them. They also wanted to know if these perceptions remained stable or changed over time. They found that pregnant women perceived their husband and child as the most important, followe d by parents, and that these feelings did vary some across time as the child grew. Although the husband was perceived as the most important person in helping the mother cope with stress, feelings towards him changed more over time than feelings towards oth er family members. Positive mood changes such as increased energy, and decreased anxiety and depression have been associated with exercise (Koltyn & Schultes, 1997). Currie and Develin (2002) looked at walking as a means of providing support and improving mental well being among new mothers. They proposed that exercise in the form of group walking would be beneficial to new mothers as a preventative measure for reducing postpartum stress and depression as well as helping to increase fitness levels and help with excess weight mothers might be carrying after childbirth. Walking in a group might also provide members with social support from others experiencing a similar life transition. In a survey of 500 mothers it was found that most mothers would find a

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46 prog ram like this beneficial. The one concern was that perhaps mothers with postpartum depression would not wish to participate due to their depression. In 1983, Crnic, Greenberg, Ragozin, Robinson and Basham examined the effects of stress and different types of emotional social support on maternal attitudes. They found that stress impacts interpersonal feelings and satisfaction in new mothers and has a negative impact on maternal attitudes and their ability to recognize and respond also found that intimate support buffered the stress effects their child from the effects of stress. No buffer was found between stress and support as they related to parenting attitude and behavior. This finding supports the notion by Belsky (1981) that having the support of a strong positive marital relationship increases competent parenting. In 1981, Crockenberg suggested that social support affects maternal attitud social behavior. Crnic et al. (1983) concluded that social support from numerous sources is important in developing positive parenting attitudes and parent child interactions. The more prone to distress an infant is, the more taxing on the caregiver and the more emotional and social support is beneficial (Mangelsdorf, Gunnar, Kestenbaum, Lang And Andreas, 1990). This suggests that the more stress a mother is under the more beneficial soc ial support is in encouraging the development of the mother child child which fosters the attachment.

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47 In 1991 Jennings, Stagg and Connors looked at social networks and mot interactions with their children. They found that it may be useful for mothers to distinguish between their personal networks, which are those people important in their life, and their maternal network, which are those people important in their role as mother. These networks may overlap. Jennings, Stagg and Connors (1991) examined behavior. They found that the average mother has 24 people in her personal network and network consisted of 15 people. They found no relation between size and satisfaction with their personal networks usually had larger maternal networks with which they were and maternal control was related to personal and maternal networks. It was also noted network was associated with a warmer interaction with her child. It was found however, that those mothers with cohesive personal networks in which members of the network l ived in close proximity were more controlling of their children. The authors suggest that maternal network because it holds those individuals who are most important in the mo needs met so they are better able to meet the needs of their children. In 1996, Goldstein, Diener and Mangelsdorf looked at maternal characteristics and social support duri ng the transition to motherhood to determine their relationship with

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48 maternal behavior. They looked at the source of the support, the difference between the quantity of support and the level of satisfaction with the support, how the support buffered negati ve effects of stress and what the drawbacks of the support were. Many women report their mothers or their husbands as their main source of support during the postpartum period with the support of their spouse seeming to have the greatest impact on their ad aptation to motherhood (Levitt, Weber & Clark, 1986). Crnic, Greenberg, Ragozin, Robinson and Basham (1983) felt that both support quantity and support satisfaction were important to a positive transition to motherhood. They defined support quantity as the size of the support network and support satisfaction as the perception of support being adequate. It has been suggested that support plays an important role in buffering the negative effects of stress but it is unclear as to whether or not support is impo rtant regardless of the level of stress (Cohen & McKay, 1984). In general, high stress is associated with poor mother and infant outcomes when paired with low levels of support, however support has also been shown to be problematic if the recipient does no t want it (Affleck, Tennen, Rowe, Roscher & Walker, 1989). Goldstein, Diener and postpartum mood and maternal sensitivity, but not maternal expressivity. They also found that mot hers with larger support networks were more sensitive towards their infants. They suggest this is because the mothers with more support get more of their own personal needs met. In 1986, Stemp, Turner and Noh noted that with the birth of an infant there is an increase in strain on the marital relationship and that social support has been linked to influencing the levels of distress. They also noted that research on the impact of social

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49 support has been conflicting. They used social support as a cognitive ex perience and studied mothers for one year postpartum to examine the changes in levels of psychological distress. They found that the cognitive experience of social support and the degree of intimacy in the marriage had a significant association with change s in the levels of psychological distress in new mothers. They also found that there was no psychological distress. They concluded that the relationship between social sup port and level of distress was confused and needed clearer conceptualization. resources as a means of predicting the degree to which they may be affected by stressors. Internal resources such as personality have been linked to degree of parenting stress. Extroversion, agreeableness and being easy going are associated with less distress (Holahan & Moos, 1986). It has been shown that mothers of children with behavior issues and mot hers of boys report more parenting stress (Crinic & Acevedo, 1995). Family resources are also good predictors of parenting stress. Availability of a social network of friends, relatives and spouse has been associated with lower parenting stress (Belsky, 19 84). In 2002, Mulsow, Caldera, Pursley, Reifman & Huston to that perception, that the changes and demands that are associated with the mothering role exceeded the resour 944). They wanted to examine the predictors of parenting stress over a three year period using family stress theory (McCubbin & Patterson, 1983) and the process model (Belsky, 1984). They looked at parenta l factors such as mood, beliefs, personality and

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50 self esteem ; family systems such as income, marital relationship and social support; and child factors such as temperament, gender, age and developmental stage. They felt that both mothers and fathers should be studied in order to better understand parenting mothers spend more time with the child a nd experience more of the parenting difficulties. They found that maternal personality was a significant predictor of parenting stress during the first three years of childhood. They also found that social support was a stronger predictor of parenting stre ss than marital intimacy in the second year of childhood. It was shown that some form of support for mothers is important in reducing parenting stress, however, this decrease d was shown to be the most important form of support. Stress and social support have been shown to effect pregnancy outcomes by influencing endocrine and immune systems as well as contributing to behaviors such as smoking, drinking and drug use (Newton, 1988). In 1996, Rogers, Peoples Sheps & Suchindran studied the impact of social support programs on prenatal care and pregnancy outcomes of teenagers and found that support group intervention was associated with an increase in prenatal care and more positive outcomes in pregnancy. They were not able to determine which components of the social support program were responsible for these effects. Research has shown that women are involved in the majority of the childcare responsibilities and household chores (Googins, 1991). Fulfilling the roles of parent, spouse and employee can be challenging and lead to role conflict as shown in a study

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51 by Neal, Chapman, Ingersoll Dayton and Emlen (1993) in which working mothers reported more personal health and care giving stress and had more trouble combining w ork and family. Further research in 1990 by Goff, Mount and Jamison suggested that workers who were satisfied with their childcare experienced less conflict between work and family. Rudd and McKenry (1986) found that child care affected job satisfaction in that the more influence child found that job satisfaction was higher for single mothers whose employer included child have been shown to be more satisfied with their childcare than those who use center based child care (Erdwins & Buffardi, 1994). Studies have also shown that su pport from ones employer and spouse are connected to their attitudes towards work and family. family conflict orking Bond, 1990). In 1997, Buffardi & Erdwins looked at child care satisfaction and its links to attitudes towards work, inter role conflict and separation anxiety. T hey found satisfaction with caregiver attentiveness and employer sensitivity were strong predictors of job satisfaction and commitment as well as role conflict. Good caregiver communication was associated with decreased separation anxiety. Ostberg and Hag ekull (2000) used a structural model to try and understand education, family, social support, work load and child temperament. They focused on

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52 the size of the support s ystem, which they felt served as a moderator for stress and its influences. Their model hypothesized a direct and an indirect effect of support on stress. They also hypothesized a direct effect between life events, caretaking hassles and child temperament on stress level. They found a main effect of social support on stress level as well as an effect of mothers age, caretaking hassles, child temperament and work load on level of stress. They found no effect of level of education on stress. There was a stron noted that mothers who perceived their domestic work as demanding also perceived their child as more difficult. This could work both ways in that mothers who perceive their child as more difficult might also perceive their domestic workload as being more demanding and stressful. Longitudinal studies have shown that in the early transition to parenthood marital satisfaction often declines. In 1985, Cowan, Cowan, Heming, Garrett, Co ysh, Curtis Boles and Boles looked at the transition to parenthood and hypothesized that the decline in marital satisfaction would be accompanied by negative changes in domains of family life and that partners having a first child will have more negative c hanges than partners with no children. They also looked at the differences between mother and father transitions to parenthood and the quality of marriage they experienced. They self esteem did not differ from non parents and that the r ole of parent became a larger part of their identity while partner became a smaller part of the identity for both parents. Regarding role arrangements they found that new parents began to take on more traditional gender roles than non parents and that role satisfaction declined for new parents. Cowan and Cowan (1988) suggested this could

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53 their dependence on their husband. In their examination of marital communication they found that conflict increased for new parents with the most common source of conflict being the division of tasks. In regards to the balance of life stress they found that there was a greater positive balance between life stress and social support for new parents than for those couples without children. In the overall transition for mothers and fathers they found that self esteem, life stress and description of family was stable in both couples with and without children while most other categories examined were impacted negatively for new parents and not at all or positively for non parents. Marital satisfaction was found to decrease in new parents but significantly more so in those declined and decline for the first six months but then decreased greatly from six to eighteen months. This was associated with an increase in marital conflict and an in crease in authoritarian parenting attitudes. The authors noted that those couples with good adapting skills prior to the birth of their first child adapted better after the birth of their child. They concluded that parenthood does bring more negative chang e to all five domains and that it is an increase in gender differentiation that accounts for the decline in marital satisfaction during the transition to parenthood. They suggested that new parents who are already fatigued due to lack of sleep and are deal ing with major changes in their sense of self may be surprised by unexpected differences with their spouse and the resulting conflict which may leave them feeling more distressed.

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54 In a 1986 review by Worthington and Buston, the marriage relationship during the transition to parenthood was examined. They looked at the impact of children on the marriage relationship, the theories on transition to parenthood and other critical variables. In regards to the impact of children on marriage they looked at several s tudies. In 1985, McHale and Houston conducted a study that suggested that the length than the birth of a child. They looked at couples over their first year of marri age and found decreases in satisfaction for both those who had children and those who did not. Worthington and Buston (1986) looked at several theories about the transition to parenthood. They noted that most sociological theories looked at gender roles, s ocietal expectations and conflict when discussing the transition to parenthood. According to Myers Walls (1984) the balance of social life with mothering is the best predictor of a with the role they choose is more important than whether that role is traditional or non traditional (Belsky, Perry Jenkins & Crouter, 1985). Belsky and Rovine (1984) noted that social support acts as a mediator against stress. They found that couples who had a lot of social contact prior to having a child tended to continue to engage in social contact after having a child. This provided them with external support. Miller and Myers Walls (1983) found that new parents seek the support of their own parents wh ile they are transitioning to parenthood. Role strain theory as described by Goode (1960) views time of a new mother which might compete for time are work, social life, mar riage, child care and house work (Myers Walls, 1984). With one of the biggest complaints of new parents

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55 being lack of time, Worthington and Buston (1986) noted several coping mechanisms people use to deal with role strain. These include redefining a situat ion to be positive, family planning, priority setting, getting professional help and receiving and applying education/information. There are three critical variables that Worthington and Buston (1986) reviewed. These included time schedules, conflict over relationship rules and the functioning of the couple before the transition to parenthood. LaRossa (1983) suggested that adding new roles to an already full schedule draws attention to how time is used and makes free and social time seem scarce. Lastly the functioning of a couple prior to their first child is an important factor in how smooth the transition to parenthood will be (Myers Walls, 1984). In 1988, Cowan and Cowan described the transition to parenthood as a major life change, which stimulates chang e in the individual, within the family and outside the family thus affecting marital adjustment. Fawcett (1988) suggested that being a parent both created stress and personal limitations and fulfilled social and psychological needs. It was also believed th at parents who perceived parenthood in a positive manner would perceive difficulties more positively also and would not experience as much marital decline. In 1994, Levy Shiff looked at individual and contextual components of marital change during the tran sition to parenthood. They used the ecological model which looks at family and environmental systems as influences on development. It also says that the processes of the different social systems and subsystems are not independent and may even interact. The y examined impulse control, autonomy and interpersonal conflict hypothesizing that people who are organized, nurturing, and able to control impulsivity and compromise would transition better to parenthood than those who are not. They

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56 also looked at the dir ect effect of cultural origin on marital change, and career needs in might have marital dissatisfaction over conflicts resulting from role distribution of household work. Th ey found that women were more satisfied with their marriage than men but had a sharper decline in satisfaction after having a child. Women who perceived themselves as hav ing good impulse control were more involved in playful behaviors with their infant and the more positive their attitude toward parenting. It was also found that mothers who were invested in their work had husbands who were more involved in caring for the infant. Mothers who enjoyed being free of obligations had more marital dissatisfaction role is inconsistent with their personal orientation they will experience a more stressful transition. It was found that there are six variables that are strong predictors of marital change: Pe rsonality trait of autonomy and impulsivity, fathers care giving behavior, fathers play and affiliation, centrality of work role and being of non western ethnic origin. It was noted that the more men were involved in care giving the less the decrease in ma rital satisfaction while the more the mother was involved in care giving the greater invol vement with the infant. They noted that women who perform the majority of the household chores while also feeling drained physically and emotionally may have more important This is in agreement with previous research that found division of

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57 responsibilities is important for marital satisfaction (Backman, 1981). It was suggested by Levy act of love and caring towards themselves. It has also been suggested that fathers who difficulties. Competence or Preparedness and Confidence The most influential source of se lf efficacy according to Pajares, 2002 is mastery of experience. For a first time parent this is difficult because they have no past experience to work from. They may however obtain experience or information which may increase their level of confidence in their abilities through means of helping with efficacy is the 1977) it is important to examine feelings of competence/ confidence in first time parents. The birth of a first child can be significantly stressful for everyone involved but parent means changin g ones daily schedule, reorganizing the division of domestic more. Due to the adjustments that must be made when a new member enters the kely to be shaken (Brazelton, 1986). In a meta synthesis by Nelson (2003), women reported changes both positive and negative when becoming mothers. They reported more patience, love, understanding and empathy, as well as loss of sense of self, confidence, self esteem and control over their life. Cudmore (1997) characterized early motherhood as being full of conflicting emotions such as love, joy, excitement, fear, confusion, loneliness, uncertainty, frustration, guilt

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58 and more. Sayil, Gure & Ucanok (2006) found that low income, self esteem and self efficacy were associated with anxiety in the prenatal time period. Women who prepare for parenthood and can visualize themselves in the role of being a mother during pregnancy have been shown to be more satisfied have more confidence and perceive themselves with more mothering characteristics postpartum (Alexander & Higgins, 1993). In 1983, Glass looked at possible links between prenatal and postnatal factors believed to be related to differences in parental adj ustment later on. She hypothesized that the maternal attitudes most strongly related to later perception of an infant are sensitivity to infants. She also hypothesized that infant sex and social class, birth experience and infant health will moderate how attitudes relate to perception and that attitudes measured will fluctuate from the prenatal to the postnatal period. Prenatal and postnatal attitudes were compared for stability over time. It was found that only three of fourteen items showed change over time and these changes were primarily in the direction of fewer positive attitudes. Of the prenatal data gathered, three items were found to be most useful in predicting maternal perception. These were a) age of mother, b) degree of sensitivity to infant cues and c) emotional investment of the mother. It is believed that mothers with poor awareness of infant cues repeatedly fail in attempts to control infant activity, whi ch may decrease their self esteem and adjustment to expectations of controlling their activity and more acceptance of the situation have a more positive perception of motherhood. Fo r those mothers with a low emotional

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59 investment who expect neither strong negative nor positive effects with the birth of a baby on their lifestyles, the disruption that does occur may provoke a negative reaction. It is believed that caretakers with high e motional investment are better prepared for the negative aspects of child care and more appreciative of the positive aspects of child care. It is thought that the age of the mother affects maternal perception because as ential support system. The older a mother is the more likely she is to have friends and relatives who have had children and can provide support and information. Infant sex and social class were found to have no significant relation to maternal perception. This study suggests that when a newborn arrives the disruption of lifestyle that occurs is greater than what most parents expect. The perceived stress and changes in lifestyle that occur are important to investigate. In the first few months of caring for a newborn, caretaking tasks must often be modified and adjusted. New mothers often solve daily care issues that are open ended, task at hand and its familiarity. A first time parent although new to caring for a newborn may not perceive himself or herself to be any less competent than an experienced competence in childcare. In 1985, Mercer report ed an increase in maternal competence with an increase in age. He also found that more education was linked to decreased satisfaction with the maternal role. How new mothers perceive their problem solving competence may influence how they adapt to parentho od, how stressful they perceive the experience and how they cope with it. In 1991, Pridham and Chang examined

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60 solving to be high. First time mothers were significantly different in perceived partum but not at four months. Problem solving scores increased overall from two to four months suggesting a significant time effect. There was no significant relationship found with age or education suggesting that these items were not a part of the crite ria mothers used for assessing their competence at problem solving infant care issues. Gabinet (1986) suggested that many changes can occur in a persons life pre and post natal that effect their feelings and attitudes about having and raising a child. Thi potential competence very difficult. Knowing how to perform certain tasks is important. However, it is also important to have self confidence in ones ability to perform the tasks in order to be successful. In 1988, Fleming, associated with feelings of maternal adequacy and care taking. It was also found that depression was associated with decreased feelings of maternal adequacy. Self E fficacy T heory is a constr uct created by Bandura in 1977 that talks about an individuals self confidence in performing. In 1989 Bandura described self of self confiden ce that an action can be successfully completed. This acts to strengthen our efforts towards tasks we feel confident in and weaken our motivation and efforts we feel less confident in. Bandura believes that self efficacy is influenced by previous performan ce, physiological state, observation of the performance of others and

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61 persuasion via encouragement and support. Many health care providers are starting to take self efficacy into account in areas such as weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation and drug an d alcohol cessation programs. In 1990, Froman and Owen explored the task or something similar was the best source of self effic acy or confidence in new mothers. They also found that the stronger the sense of confidence prior to leaving the hospital the more likely new mothers were to approach and succeed at care taking tasks. The study als suggests that mothers may be developing their perceptions of self confidence from something other tha n the demonstrated skills the nurses are rating and taking their perceptions from. The authors suggest that some form of verbal persuasion to help build self confidence in new mothers would be beneficial. They also suggest that nurses need to not only teac h and demonstrate skills to new mothers, but also ask new mothers about how confident they feel in their skills. In 2001, Hudson, Elek and Fleck looked at (a) the differences between first time self efficacy (b) the relationship between self efficacy and (c) the effect of infant self efficacy and parenting satisfaction in the S elf E fficacy T heory as their framework. They believed that understanding these concepts could be useful when providing guidance to efficacy (ICS) was greater

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62 no significance for infant sex on either parental satisfaction or ICS. The authors suggested that the difference in the mothers and fathers ICS was possibly due to the increased opportunities for infant care experience and support available to mothers. They suggested that focusing on the mothers classes does not adequately prepare the father for the transition to parenthood and that Gelfand (1991) also found that maternal self e fficacy increased over time and was positively associated with parenting competence. Working Mothers Going back to work can be a difficult choice for a new mother. For many there is not an option due to financial needs. Being a working mom can be stressful and anxiety provoking especially depending on the work environment. It can also affect ones self efficacy. When a mother has to return to work and hand the responsibility for caring for her child over to someone else, or when she feels her time is being d ivided and she is not able to give enough time to her child she may begin to experience feeling of poor self confidence in her ability as a mother. As her maternal self esteem goes down her level of stress and anxiety go up. This has a significant effect o n self efficacy. It is therefore important to have a better understanding of the working mother. movement and a shift in values, the entry of a large number of mothers into the work force is a relatively recent and profound change in the United States. This change has

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63 brought new stressors and dilemmas to mothers who work out of need or choice. Some of the issues that arise are internal conflicts, denial of feelings and strengths tha t go un acknowledged, cultural confusion, societal conflict, environmental stressors and ry. (Feldman, 2000). Derry and Gallant (1993) examined some of the issues faced by working mothers. It was found in some studies (Walker & Best, 1991), that mothers wo rking full time are an exception to increased well being in the research area of role combining mothers. It is unknown as to why they are exempt but it is possibly due to ld and home care and the needs of younger children. How labor is divided among parents can affect a mothers choice of employment via hours worked, type of work and possible ant affects her level of stress and her relationships the perception needs to be addressed and discussed as well as the options available. When coping with distress it is importa nt to incorporate stress management techniques such as separating work from personal life, taking time to relax and care for oneself, having special times with husband and children that are relaxed and hold no time schedule, and validating a mothers feelin g of attachment with her children. In 1993, Leonard suggested that returning to work after the birth of a child was harder for women who were not returning for financial reasons, but instead were

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64 returning for identity reasons. He found that most mothers made the decision to return to work before they had experienced motherhood, and that postpartum they experienced feelings of conflict about returning because of their attachment to their child. For those who returned before 3 months postpartum, they felt t hey were missing an opportunity to get to know their child better. It has also been found that mothers who stay at home with their child when they would prefer to return to work, experience more symptoms of depression indicating it is important for a mothe congruent with her choices (Koren Karie, 2001). Noor, 1999, found that happiness was associated with job autonomy. In a 1992 study, Forgays found that type A stay at home mothers had more maternal stress than working mothers. Many wom en also find that establishing quality daycare is elusive. Research predicting factor in level of distress (Ross & Mirowsky, 1988). Women are likely to question if it is right f in alternate care. Mothers who work are given on average six to eight weeks of maternity leave to recuperate. This short time frame ignores some of the emotional needs such as mother child bonding. Women with young children may feel significant grief at returning to work and leaving their child. The initial adjustment to a new baby is extremely stressful with most new parents having little to no experience with newborns. According to Brazelt on (1986), when parents have to anticipate an early return to work they seem to be guarded against discussing their baby as a person, their dreams for their new baby and their role as parents, and instead focus their concerns on adjusting to time issues an d new schedules. Brazelton (1986) suggests they are already

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65 protecting themselves from too strong of an attachment in anticipation of the pain of having to separate from them upon returning to work. Mothers need to feel like they can leave and not cut of t heir feelings of attachment towards their child (Derry and Gallant, 1993). Brazelton (1986) also discusses that when a mother must return to work in the middle of the bonding period she may not develop the same understanding and sense of competence with he r baby. The early experiences between mother and child form the basis for their shared emotional development and the interaction helps the mother develop sensitivity to her babies needs. Brazelton (1986) suggests there is a significant difference in the le the first three months. Brazelton suggests (1986) that infants go through four stages of regulation in the first f our months of life. He says that parents who are involved with their babies and develop attachment are aware of their own development as caregivers parallel to their awareness of their infants development though the stages. It is also suggested that when p they lose the opportunity to feel their own development through the four stages as well as to understand their baby so intimately. When a new mother has to share her baby with an o utside caregiver she may feel cheated and may experience a sense of loss. New mothers have described a sense of hopelessness, sadness, helplessness, loneliness, depression, inadequacy and grief when leaving their child in substitute care (Brazelton, 1986). In order to protect themselves they may begin to develop defenses such as denial, projection and detachment, which are normal, but can interfere with their

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66 attachment to their baby (Brazelton, 1986). He suggests that new working mothers need to be prepar ed for their roles in order to maintain the positive facets needed in strong attachments. It has been suggested (Schroeder, 1989), that institutional change such as more flex time, more part time employment, more parental leave and better childcare would b e important in decreasing some of the stressors that working mothers face. New roles in life require redefinition and reorganization of life goals, which may come with emotional costs and benefits depending on how they mesh with a n individuals previous go als. In 1993, Alexander and Higgins used S elf D iscrepancy T self discrepancies prior to and after the birth of their first child. They wanted to look at why becoming a p arent may be emotionally distressful for people with goals other than parenthood yet decreases the distress of those people who embrace parenthood. More recently it has been observed that perhaps women experience an increase in their responsibilities and a decrease in their personal and recreational time. Self D iscrepancy T emotions where as when a person s ac tual self is in conflict with their ought self they experience agitation related emotions. According to Higgins (1990), social roles include representations of societal norms and standards while self guidelines are individual standards. Alexander and Higge ns (1993) suggest that becoming a parent takes needs of performing new and unfamiliar tasks. They suggest this could incite agitation related to actual v ersu s ought discrepan cies. In their 1993 study, Alexander and Higgins

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67 found individuals with high actual ideal discrepancy experienced a greater increase in dejection after six months of parenthood, which was more pronounced the longer individuals had been, married prior to pa renthood. They also found that individuals with high actual ought discrepancy had a greater decrease in agitation six months post parenthood. The authors suggest that parenthood may interfere with achieving goals that individuals had pre parenthood. For th ose with actual ideal discrepancies this may cause dejection especially if they have been married for a long time and they perceive their child as difficult. They suggest that incorporating new aspirations of parenthood into ideal self guides may decrease suffering for those individuals at risk. In 1991, Hemmelgarn and Laing examined the relationship between situational and background factors and perceived role strain experienced by working mothers returning to work after the birth of their first child. Th ey looked at work attitude, maternal identity, social support, childcare, type of work, work schedule, employment satisfaction, income, level of education and age to determine their role in role strain. Their results suggest that the best predictor of role strain is maternal identity. They also found that women with high job satisfaction or high social support experienced a lower level of role strain. Since more and more women are seeking employment in the paid labor force it is important to help them combi ne their roles of mother and career woman in a healthy and beneficial way in order to promote well being for the women and their families. Hemmelgarn & Laing (1991) suggest that practitioners provide feedback and information to mothers regarding their moth ering in order to build self confidence in their competence level and increase their maternal identity. Many variables such as personal identity, role commitment, social support and spousal support may affect associations

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68 chological health (Oster & Scannell, 1999). In 1993, Shaw and Burns found that increased commitment to a work role is often associated with guilt related to trading off between work and family. Oster and Scannell (1999) suggest that the way in which women perceive their roles affects their degree of commitment to those roles and the level of conflict between their work and family roles after having children. In 1999, Os ter and Scannell looked at the change in role perception, role conflict and psychological health in working mothers. They found that role perception predicted self esteem and psychological health. Role conflict also predicted psychological health, which wa s in agreement with research that suggests for working women role conflict, overload and stress are unavoidable (Betz, 1993). Scenarios in which a husband who is employed does less family and home related work than a wife who is not employed because the h usband has fewer resources such as time, is the theoretical framework known as resource theory which is used to determine the division of family labor (Blood & Wolfe, 1960). In 1980, Woods renamed this framework as role proliferation and described it as ro le pressure encountered by women who are performing in the multiple roles of wife, mother and career woman usually without transition from one role to another. In 1985, Pleck described the inequity effect in which women who work in and out of the home feel pressure for time and when spouses do not help enough the wife feels dissatisfied over the unequal treatment. Hothschild (1989) found that women reduced the amount of childcare and housework they did in order to meet the demands of work overload. To deal with conflict in roles they altered their ideas of what was actually needed in order to fit the demands of their

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69 multiple roles. Facione (1994) examined role overload and health in married mothers employed in the labor force. She wanted to know what affect multiple roles and their is likely to increase stress and stress is known to be associated with poorer health. Walker and Best (1991) found that working mothers reported m ore perceived stress and less healthy lifestyles than stay at home moms. This supported their hypothesis that full time working mothers may cope with overload by neglecting themselves (personal health and well being). Many studies have shown working women to be healthier than those who do not work, however when compared to working men they are generally less healthy. Facione (1994) suggests this may be due to role overload. It was proposed by Verbrugge in 1982 that role density affects health and that alth ough multiple roles may enhance an researchers suggest that it is the subjective experience rather than the amount of work of multiple roles that affects health. In 1987, Parry found that for working mothers dual role conflict was associated with psychological distress more than job satisfaction. He noted that working mothers with more traditional role schemas were the most anxious. The increase in working women and the dem ands on their time have resulted in less leisure time and decreases in marriage and children. Uhlenberg and Cooney (1990) looked at physicians and found that men were more likely than women to get married and have children. As more mothers become working m others, risk factors such as depression, stress and fatigue increase. In 1983, Stewart conducted a study using self help groups to help

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70 those lacking in other means of support. The study showed that those women who participated in the group reported greate r positive changes in their confidence, motivation, self esteem, self awareness, coping skills and personal growth. Support groups have been shown to help working mothers by using psycho education that incorporate the cognitive behavioral approach and soci al support (Dunlop, 1981). It has been suggested that strategies incorporating a cognitive behavioral approach may prevent role strain and role conflict (Kline & Snow, 1994), decrease stress and increase adjustment (Aldwin & Revenson, 1987). Beck (1984) a nd Derry & Gallant (1993) suggested teaching working mothers time management, stress management and coping techniques including mothers taking personal time to exercise, relax and eat right as a means of decreasing stress. Availability of social support ha s also been shown to be an important factor in decreasing role strain, role conflict and generating a more positive experience adjusting to dual roles (Bienstock & Videka Sherman, 1989). The availability of social support may determine whether or not a wor king mother experiences adverse effects as it has been shown that social networks positively affect being (Derry & Gallant, 1993). In 1996, Nelson said that it is within the context of a relationship that optimal development is achieved by women. Malley & Stewart (1988) discussed the two needs they consider fundamental for mental and physical well being. They are agency in the shape of personal goals and self direction and communion in the form of relationships with others. T hey maintain that women need both agency and communion in order to achieve the greatest health benefits and sense of satisfaction. In 1998, Morgan and Hensley used a psycho educational approach through group work as a means of

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71 providing social support and reducing stress in working mothers. It had an educational component, a cognitive behavioral component and a closure and feedback component. They noted several themes that emerged such as the need for trust and nurturance through communication and support f rom others, growing up with traditional role models that did not fit their current needs, self neglect because they were too tired for self care, guilt over working and what affects it might be having on their children, separation and individuation issues over developing their own personal interests outside of their their groups and fe eling supported while being able to discuss issues of concern with other women sharing similar experiences. The authors noted that women need not only time for communication and support but also need to be assisted in recognizing the need to take time out for self care in order to better manage stress and fatigue. Since most women who are employed full time still perform most of the childcare and household responsibilities they find themselves faced with the equivalent of two full time jobs which can lead t o dissatisfaction with both jobs(Moen, 1992). Jackson and Scharman (2002) wanted to examine the construction of family friendly careers. They looked at women who constructed their careers in a way that allowed them to spend significantly more time with the ir children. They found several themes of interest. First, there was family decision making. Second, there was creative pioneering in which women identified possible alternative work schedules from the more traditional ones and then had the willingness to take the risk and pursue that line of work. Third, was work satisfaction and fourth, was pleasant stress in which individuals felt pulled in

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72 multiple directions but were satisfied and fulfilled. Fifth, there was ambiguous preparation, which was described a s a combination of commitment and passion with flexibility and tolerance that allowed them to develop an individualized division of work and family time. Sixth, there was the acknowledgement that individuals had made some offs in their jou rney but they did not consider them to be sacrifices. Last, there were reports of surprise feelings toward the intensity of participants' feelings about their work and their family. The authors noted that the participants viewed their situations as the per fect blend of work and family and did not feel their compromises were losses but rather insights and growth experiences.

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73 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Statement of Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between fitness level, suppo rt, career, amount and type of education and training, attachment, stress and perceived competence during the transition from non parent to parent in first time mothers. Comparatively little research has been done looking at the general population of cross cultural first time mothers with a healthy newborn. Additional research is needed to determine how first time mothers cope with stress and how the combination of fitness level, support systems, career choices and education for preparation and support affe ct the stress level and perception of competence in first time mothers. This chapter contains the methodology that was used in the collection and analysis of the data for this study. Included in this chapter are a description of the population used, sampli ng procedures, hypotheses, variables, type of research study and design, the instruments used, treatment procedures, data collection and analysis procedure, and limitations of the study. Population The population of interest consisted of first time expecta nt mothers with no pregnancy complications. First time expectant mothers in this study were defined as married women between the ages of 24 35 who were between 2 months and 8 months post partum, experienced no complications during their pregnancy or with t he delivery and no health issues with the baby. The sample was drawn from patients who were being seen by healthcare personnel at or associated with Shands or North Florida

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74 Hospital, the University of Florida, referrals from friends and other participants. Most of the participants were from within Alachua county Florida, although there were some from outside the area due to the referral process. Alachua County includes the city of Gainesville where Shands, North Florida and the University of Florida are loc ated and more rural areas that surround the city. Alachua County has approximately 218,000 residents with approximately 51% being female. Of that number there are approximately 110,000 residents within the city of Gainesville. It is important to note that Gainesville is a college town and approximately 46,000 of the residents are University of Florida students. Sample and Sampling Procedures Before beginning this study, approval and permission to proceed were received from the University of Florida Institut ional Review Board (Appendix A). A convenient sample of 100 participants participated in this study and 98 of those were included. Participation was voluntary. The participants were identified and selected by healthcare personnel in Alachua County at or as sociated with the University of Florida Shands Hospital, North Florida Regional Hospital, and sent via email to friends and family for referrals. A flyer (Appendix B) was given to healthcare personnel associated with the sites and passed on to appropriatel y identified pregnant women. The healthcare personnel practice medicine in the areas of gynecology or obstetrics, midwifery, pediatrics and child preparation classes. Women were told that the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of several facto rs on feelings of competence, level of stress and degree of coping. Women who chose to participate could go online to a secure website where

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75 they filled out a demographic questionnaire. Once they were approved by the tester they were given a password to lo g into the system and complete the questionnaires. Hypotheses Self beliefs impact the choices we make and the way we choose to act. Self performance of an action. According to Bandura, self efficacy beliefs also determine an activity, and how resilient they will be (Pajares, 2002). Low self efficacy generates feelings of anxiety, stress a nd depression due to beliefs that a situation is harder than it is while high self efficacy generates calmer feelings due the belief that a situation is doable. First time mothers are faced with the new task of caring for an infant. How they approach this task may be affected by their beliefs surrounding their level of competence in performing the caretaking task. Self efficacy is a powerful influence which individuals have the capability of controlling. I hoped to establish a better understanding of the m ultiple factors affecting new mothers such as beliefs about fitness level, support, attachment, career and education preparedness as they pertain to level of stress and perceived competence. 1. There is no relationship between exercise and levels of perceive d stress and perceived competence in new mothers. 2. There is no relationship between body image and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers. 3. There is no relationship between available support and levels of perceived stress and perc eived competence in new mothers. 4. perceived levels of stress and competence.

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76 5. There is no difference between pre and post natal childcare education and levels of perceived stress and perceiv ed competence in new mothers. 6. of stress and ability to cope. 7. perceived of competence. 8. There is no differe nce between a mother s support and stress and perceived competence. Delineation of Relevant Variables Dependent Variables The dependent variables in this study were level of stress and perceived confidence or competence level. Confidence or competence was viewed in terms of the extent to which a parent feels competent in the parenting role. It was measured using the Infant Care Survey (Froman & Owen, 1989) and the Parenting Sense of Competency Scale, (Gibaud Wallston & Wandersman, 1978). Stress was measured using the Parenting Stress Index (Abidin, 1995), and the State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire (Spielberger, Gorusch, Lushene, Vagg & Jacobs, 1977). Independent Variable s The independent variables for this study were level of fitness, support systems, caree r choice, coping, attachment and education. Level of fitness was viewed in terms of whether or not the participant engaged in any type of exercise and if so what type, their body image, physical self worth and social support that might be received through participation in an exercise group or program. It was measured by the Physical Self Perception Profile (Fox & Corbin, 1989). Support was viewed in regards to perceived levels of support from spouse, family, friends, co workers, neighbors and community. It was measured by Perceived Adequacy of Resources scale (Rowland, Dodder and

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77 Nickols, 1985) and the Personnal Resource Questionnaire (Brandt & Weinert, 1981). Choice of career was looked at in regards to whether or not the mother works, if so full time vs. part time and from home vs. in office. The study also looked at perceived support from ones employer and whether or not childcare is an issue. These items were measured by means of a general questionnaire. Coping was measured by Carver, Scheier & Weintraub close a mother felt she was to her own mother and to her child. Attachment was measured using a self report Attachment scale devised by the tester. Education was looked at in regards to informatio n received from newborn or childcare classes, literature, family and friends, hospital staff and support groups or mommy and me style groups. Education was measured using a general questionnaire. Design The design for this study was a descriptive analysis using a sample of convenience. One individual was used in conducting this study. This individual was a female doctoral student working on her dissertation at the University of Florida. She was in the mental health counseling track. She had a Master of Scie nce in Kinesiology and a Master of Education in Human Development Counseling. She had approximately 15 years experience in the mental health field. After a potential participant was identified, the participant was given a flyer with study related informati on and a secure website address they could log onto if they choose to participate. The participants were told that they would be participating in a study that was examining the relationship between stress, coping and perceived competence in relation to fit ness, support, career, attachment and education. A letter introducing the study and explaining the contents and instructions (Appendix C), the

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78 demographic questionnaire (Appendix D) and the surveys (Appendix E) were available on this website. If necessary participants were sent a reminder by email to log onto the website and complete the questionnaires. The final email contained a $20 gift card to one of three stores of their choice with a note thanking the participants (Appendix F). Instrumentation A demog raphic questionnaire, the COPE, Infant Care Survey, Physical Self Perception Profile, Perceived Adequacy of Resources Scale, Personal Resource Questionnaire, Parenting Stress Index, Parenting Sense of Competency, Attachment scale and State Trait Anxiety Qu estionnaire will be used in this study. These instruments seem to tap two dimensions of parental knowledge. The instruments used as well as the constructs they were measuring can be broken into the categories of instrumental or task oriented and expressiv e or emotion oriented. Demographic Questionnaire A demographic questionnaire was used to obtain information about the women. This information will include age, address, ethnicity, level of education, working outside the home full or part time; working ins ide the home full or part time, how childcare is or will be handled, satisfaction with childcare; participation in an exercise program, what type of exercise, how often, individual or group; newborn or childcare classes taken, educational literature read, participation in after care classes (mommy and me etc.), friends with children and family in close proximity. The demographic questionnaire was instrumental in nature. Infant Care Survey The Infant Care Survey or ICS (Froman & Owen, 1989) is a 52 item sca le which assesses infant care self

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79 of and skills regarding to infant care skills in the areas of health, safety and diet. A 5 point likert scale ranging from 1 (no confidence) to 5 (a great deal of confidence) is used. It was originally tested on a group of 142 subjects 15 40 in numerous settings including hospitals, home visits, clinical nursing sites and college classrooms. The sample included representation of black, Hispanic and Caucasian men and women. for the two major subscales of knowledge =.947 and skill =.963. For construct validity the single construct identified by the ICS was infant care self effica cy which was found to explain 46.6 percent of the overall variance in responses. In 1990, Froman and Owen conducted another study using 200 new mothers who were tested before discharge from the hospital to cross validate their findings. Internal consistenc y for the replication study was found to = .97. A principal components analysis found that the single component of self efficacy accounted for more than 50 percent of the overall variance in responses. Hudson, Elek and Fleck (2001) conducted a study using cohabiting couples 20 mothers and 20 fathers recruited from rural and urban primary care givers. Participants ranged in age from19 45 with no current or expected health problems for either mother or child, and all participants were expecting their first ch ild. They found a C and Bouffard looked at 33 couples age 19 40 and found internal test retest reliability to be r = .96 to .93 for mothers and r = .98 to .98 for fathers. The instrument was very task specific and therefore very instrumental in nature. Perceived Adequacy of Resources Scale The Perceived adequacy of resources scale or PAR (Rowland, Dodder & Nickols, 1985) is a 28 item scale which measures perceived adequacy o f resources. It looks at

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80 feelings about resources in the areas of physical environment, time, finances, community resources, knowledge/skills, interpersonal and health/physical energy. Internal consistency of the scale was found to have a C .89. This instrument was very task oriented and therefore instrumental. The interpersonal subscale was expressive. Parenting Stress Index The parenting stress index or PSI (Abidin, 1995) is a 120 item self report measure which measures stress related to b eing a parent. Abidin (1995) theorized that parenting stress results from child characteristics, parent characteristics and situational variables. Using a 5 point Lickert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), four main scores are gathered from the PSI: (a) total stress, (b) child domain, (c) parent domain, and (d) life stress. Internal consistency for the measure was found to be alpha of .95 for the total stress score, .90 for the child domain and .93 for the parent domain. Test re test reliabilities were found over four different studies to be .63 to .82 for the child domain, .77 to .91 for the parent domain and .65 to .96 for the total stress score. A factor analysis showed that each subscale was distinct from one another in the ty pe of stress it measure d proving the measure to be valid. The PSI has been standardized with a normative scale of 2633 mothers for use with parents of children ranging in age from 1 month to 11 years old. It has been used with a wide range of populations including mothers with pre term and/ or fragile or ill infants (Goldberg, Morris, Simmons, Fowler & Levinson, 1990), mothers with pre term high and low risk infants and full term high and low risk infants (Singer et al., 1990), and mothers with autistic ch ildren (Acton & During, 1992). In 2002, Muslow, Calsera, Pursley & Reifman looked at 134 mothers with infants. The sample was predominantly

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81 white middle class women with some Black, Asian, Indian and Hispanic representation. They found a C ronbach alpha o f .78 with test retest reliability to be .80 to .55. In 2001, Dunn, Burbine, Bowers and Tantleff Dunn found an internal alpha coefficient of .95 and test retest reliability to be .69 to .96 for the total and .69 to .91 for the parental domain. The PSI is an expressive measure. Parenting Sense of Competency The Parenting Sense of Competency Scale or PSOCS (Gibaud Wallston and parent perceives they posses in parent related s ituations. It was created from the idea that parenting self esteem involves the perception of self efficacy as a parent and the perception of satisfaction that results from being a parent (Johnston and Marsh, 1989). The scale uses a 6 point Lickert scale r anging from (1) strongly agree to (6) strongly disagree. It consists of two subscales, Skill knowledge and value comforting which are also called efficacy and satisfaction by Johnston and Marsh (1989). It was initially used with parents of infants by Gibau d Walston & Wandersman, 1978) and internal consistency for the measure was found to be a C ronbach alpha =.80 (.82 for satisfaction and.70 for efficacy ) with test re test reliability of r =.62 to.82. Construct validity was found to measure self esteem. I n 1989 Johnston and Marsh found validity alpha coefficients of .76 for the total score, .75 for satisfaction and .76 for efficacy. The PSOC is an expressive measure. The efficacy subscale is instrumental. Physical Self Perception Profile The physical self perception profile or PSPP (Fox & Corbin, 1989) is a 30 item questionnaire designed to assess individual self model suggests that the extent of which an individual feels good about them self

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82 physically will contribut e to how they feel about them self in general. Physical self worth is believed to be the mediator between physical self perceptions and general feelings of self esteem The questionnaire consists of 5 six item subscales which include: physical strength, ph ysical self worth, sports competence, physical condition and body attractiveness. The PSPP was initially validated using a large sample of college age students. Internal consistency for the measure was addressed for each of the subscales using C lpha with a range of .81 to .92. In test retest reliability over a 2 3 week period the range was .74 to .89 which indicates internal reliability and stability. A test of construct validity revealed consistent results that a four factor model structure is secure and describes the subscale items adequately. In 1999, Hayes, Crocker and Kowalski looked at gender effects in the construct validity of the PSPP. They looked at 94 female and 89 male college students and found that scale reliability had an alpha co efficient above .83 for all values except for the sub domain of sport for men which had an alpha coefficient of .70. This was consistent with findings by Fox and Corbin (1989). Support for Validity in the Hayes et al. (1999) study was mixed. All self perce ptions were found to be interrelated in the expected strength and direction, however the sub domain of strength was redundant for men and women. A problem found in the internal structure was that the sub domains account for a large amount of the variance of physical self worth while they were not significant predictors of physical self worth. These sub domains were related to physical self worth which is associated with global self esteem, yet these sub domains were more strongly related to physical self w orth than to global self esteem. The PSPP is expressive in nature.

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83 State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire The State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire (Spielberger, Gorusch, Lushene, Vagg and Jacobs, 1977) is a 40 item questionnaire used to distinguish the level of anxiety an individual normally feels (trait anxiety) from that which an individual may feel at a particular moment in a situation (state anxiety). Items are rated on a 4 point scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 4 (very much so). The questionnaire was rev ised in 1980 looking at over 5000 subjects to standardize it. The test retest reliability for the Trait anxiety scale was .73 to .86 for college students, and .65 to .75 for high school students, with a C coefficient of .90. The stabi lity coefficient for the State anxiety scale was .16 to .62, which was low but expected as it reflects the changes in situational factors that would occur. There was a C coefficient of .93. This is an expressive measure. COPE The C OPE (Carver, Scheier & Weintraub, 1989) is a 60 item questionnaire developed with the belief that coping is a stable preference rather than a situation specific adaptation. It consists of 15 distinct subscales. It is a 4 point scale ranging from 1 (I usually using 978 undergraduate students and found to have high internal consistency with only one value (mental disengagement) falling below .6. The range was found to be a C ronba ch s alpha of .62 to .92 with the one exception which was .45. Test re test reliability on 89 and 116 students suggest the coping tendencies measured by the COPE to be stable. Evidence was provided for both convergent and discriminate validity. In another study conducted using 156 students all scales were found to have

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84 have greater internal consistency when rating specific behavioral situations versus general tendencies. In 1995, Clark, Bormann, Cropanzano and James conducted a study on validating evidence of three different coping scales one of which was the COPE. Using 306 college students 55% of which were female and 87% of which were Caucasian, they found internal con sistency reliabilities that ranged from .65 to .96, with one sub scale (mental disengagement) having an internal reliability of .49. Convergent validity for the COPE was found to range from .69 to .89, while good discriminate validity was also found. Out o f the three measures tested the COPE was found to always explain more variance in the outcome measures. While several of the subscales were found not to relate significantly to any of the measured outcomes, the COPE was found to be the best predictor of ph ysical symptoms and positive affectivity. Overall the Clark, Bormann, Cropanzano and James (1995) study supported the findings of Carver, Scheier and Weintraub, (1989). The task oriented subscale is instrumental, while the emotional, avoidance and cognitiv e subscales are both expressive and instrumental. Attachment Scale The attachment scale was created for the purpose of this study (Spengler & Daniels, 2005). It consists of two sliding scales one representing attachment to mother and the other representing attachment to child. A stick figure is moved up or down the scale towards or away from a mother or child figure representing their feelings of attachment on a scale of 1 to 100. There is no normative data for this scale. This is an expressive measure. Per sonal Resource Questionnaire The Personal Resource Questionnaire or PRQ (Brandt & Weinert, 1981) is a 2 part scale that provides two estimates of social support. Part one measures the number

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85 of interpersonal resources a person has by looking at nine proble m situations, while part questionnaire. Part two assesses the five relational functions of support which include intimacy, social integration, assistance/ guidance, sel f worth and nurturance. The measure was originally tested using four data sets demonstrating an internal consistency reliability for the total scale of .88 to .90. Subscale reliability ranged as follows: intimacy (.66 to .75), social integration (.59 to .7 6), nurturance (.68 to .80), self worth (.66 to .90) and assistance/ guidance (.69 to .75). In 1987, Weinert and Brandt again looked at reliability and construct validity and found part two to have a test retest reliability co efficient of (r=.72, p<.001). Internal consistency was found to have a ranging from .79 to .88. At time two the reliability coefficient for the total was found to be .91 while the subscale range wa s, 70 to .88. This suggests a good internal consistency for the total scale. Perceived support was found to be significantly related to mental health and personality. This is an expressive measure. Data Analysis In order to examine the data more thoroughly the data was first looked at using frequencies and means by group. This was followed by an ANOVA by group for all the HSD) for variables with a significant group differenc e. A table of F statistics and p values was created and post hoc comparisons performed to identify homogenous subgroups for each variable. The descriptive statistics mean and standard deviations were also reviewed. In order to look at internal consistency, explain observed validity and build confidence in the reliability of the data, a comparison was made between the

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86 standard deviations and means found in this study, and those found in the original studies of each instrument. This was followed by a correlat ion matrices using Pearson product moment correlation for scales that use continuous data. A point bi serial correlation was used to correlate dichotomous data with continuous data, while row wise deletion was used to treat missing data. A correlation Matr ices was created for hypotheses that examined relationships among variables. Tables were created for each instrument including scale and subscale correlations for the scale. For hypotheses that examined differences between groups, t test were performed.

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87 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between level of fitness, level of support, career, attachment and child care education, and perceived level of stress and perceived child care competence in first time mother s with healthy newborns. The results of the data analysis are presented and interpreted in this chapter. The chapter will be organized in the following way: 1) description of the demographics of the participants, 2) description of the instruments, 3) corre lation matrix, 4) response to research hypotheses. Description of Sample groups, e mail and word of mouth. The original intent was to conduct a longitudinal study with repeated m easures. Due to unanticipated delays in data collection, t he research hypotheses were reexamined to determine if they could be addressed without using a repeated measures design. It was determined that the design could proceed as an exploratory descriptive analysis. There were 97 participants total. F orty four participants completed both pre and post surveys, once in their third trimester and again between 2 and 8 months post partum. The remaining 52 participants completed only the surveys post delivery bet ween 2 and 8 months post partum. To answer the research questions the two data sets were folded into a single data set. A t test was conducted to determine if there were differences between the two data sets. The results indicated that there was no differe nce. One participant was not included in the data analysis because the responses came in after the data analysis was initiated

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88 All of the data was collected using the internet. Approval was received from the University of Florida Institutional Review Boa rd to collect data in this manner. All participants (n=96) accessed the electronic version of the surveys on the Grove system at the University of Florida. Participants ranged in age from 24 to 35 with the mean age of 28.79 years. It was observed that the largest number of participants were between 27 and 30. They were all first time mothers. Of the participants 79% (n=76) identified themselves as Caucasian, 8% (n=8) id entified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, 8% (n=8) identified themselves as Asian/ Pacif ic Islander, 3% (n=3) identified themselves as multi ethnic and 1% (n=1) as African American. Participants reported an average education level of 17.6 years of education with the observed majority (n=86 ) holding a college degree or higher. A mean income le vel of $71,000 $85,000 was reported with the observed majority (n=68) having a reported income greater than $57,000. Of the participants 59.4% (n=57) reported having prior experience with children, 69.8% (n=67) reported participating in some form of exerc ise prior to having their child with 90.6% (n=87) reporting participation or intent to participate in some form of exercise post partum. It was also observed that 82.3% (n=79) of the participants reported working prior to having their child, and intended to continue working after the birth of their child. These results indicate that the sample of participants is one that is older, highly educated and mostly Caucasian and middle class. Descriptive Statistics Participants completed a demographic survey and u pon determination of eligibility to participate, they were given login information to complete the assessments There were nine (9) instruments in addition to the demographic survey. The instruments were chosen to assess the constructs of interest for the study: body image, level of fitness,

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89 level of support, career, attachment and child care education, and perceived level of stress and perceived child care competence. A summary of the sample means and standard deviations for the instruments are presente d in (Appendix G). Body Image and physical self worth was measured using the Physical Self Perception Profile (Fox & Corbin, 1989). Perceived stress was measured using the State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire (Spielberger, Gorusch, Lushene, Vagg & Jacobs, 19 77) and the Parenting Stress Index (Abidin, 1995). Perceived c ompetence was assessed using the Infant Care Survey (Froman & Owen, 1989) and the Parenting Sense of Competency (Gibaud was measured by the P erceived Adequacy of Resources Scale (Rowland, Dodder & Nickols, 1985), and the Personal Resource Questionnaire (Brandt & Weinert, 1981). Coping was assessed using the COPE (Carver, Scheier & Weintraub, 1989). The nine (9) survey instruments produced a tot al of 44 subscales. Attachment was measured using an attachment scale developed by the investigator (Spengler & Daniels, 2005). It and the other representing the part moved up or down the scale towards or away from the mother or child representing their feelings of attachment on a scale of 1 100. There is no normative data for this scale. The Physical Self Percept ion Profile or (PSPP); (Fox & Corbin, 1989) is a 30 item questionnaire designed to assess individual self the purpose of this study only those scores pertaining to the subscales of B ody and P hysical S elf W orth were r eported. The PSPP B ody subscale had a mean of 13.79 and SD of 4.16 with an observed mean of 13.9 and an observed SD of 4.42. The PSPP

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90 P hysical S elf W orth subscale had a mean of 14.79 and a SD of 3.82 with and observed mean of 15.33 and an observed SD of 4. 22. The State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire (STAI); (Spielberger, Gorusch, Lushene, Vagg and Jacobs, 1977) is a 40 item questionnaire used to distinguish the level of anxiety an individual normally feels (trait anxiety) from that which an individual may feel at a particular moment in a situation (state anxiety). The STAI S tate subscale had a reported mean of 35.2 and a reported SD of 10.61, and an observed mean of 34.32 with an observed SD of 11.2. The STAI T rait subscale had a reported mean of 34.79 and a SD of 9.22, with an observed mean of 36.91 and SD of 9.3. The Parenting Stress Index or (PSI); (Abidin, 1995), is a 120 item self report measure which measures stress related to being a parent. The PSI has several sub scales that are inverse in their meanin g. This means that as the score increases, the trait described decreases. For example, a high score on Adaptability means the parent perceives the child as less able to adapt to environmental changes. The subscales that have this inverse meaning include: C hild Adaptability, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Acceptability, Parent Competence, Parent Attachment, Parent Health and Spousal Support. The PSI had a reported mean of 222.8 and a SD of 36.6, with an observed mean of 191.7 and SD of 50.79. The C hild D om ain had a reported mean of 99.7 and a SD of 18.8, with an observed mean of 84.06 and SD of 24.7. There were six (6) subscales under the C hild D omain. A comparison of the mean and SD can be found in (Appendix H) The D istractability or H yperactivity subscal e had a reported mean of 24.7 and SD of 4.8, with an observed mean of 44.51 and SD of 59.94. The A daptability subscale had a

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91 reported mean of 24.9 and SD of 5.7, with an observed mean of 21.62 and SD of 7.82. The R einforces P arent subscale had a reported m ean of 9.4 and SD of 2.9, with an observed mean of 9.9 and a SD of 6.03. The D emandingness subscale had a reported mean of 18.3 and SD of 4.6, with an observed mean of 16.06 and a SD of 5.82.The M ood subscale had a reported mean of 9.7 and SD of 2.9, with an observed mean of 8.75 and a SD of 3.2. The A cceptability subscale had a reported mean of 12.6 and SD of 3.5, with an observed mean of 10.68 and a SD of 4.71. The PSI P arent D omain had a reported mean of 123.1 and a SD of 24.4, with an observed mean of 104.84 and a SD of 34.23.There were seven (7) subscales under the P arent D omain. A comparison of the mean and SD can be found in (Appendix I) The C ompetence subscale had a reported mean of 29.1 and a SD of 6, with an observed mean of 21.95 and a SD of 7.3 7. The I solation subscale had a reported mean of 12.6 and SD of 3.7, with an observed mean of 12.16 and SD of 4.33. The A ttachment subscale had a reported mean of 12.7 and SD of 3.2, with an observed mean of 12.30 and SD of 5.84. The H ealth subscale had a reported mean of 11.7 and SD of 3.4, with an observed mean of 12.93 and SD of 3.71. The R ole R estriction S ubscale had a reported mean of 18.9 and SD of 5.3, with an observed mean of 18.13 and SD of 5.64. The D epression subscale had a reported mean of 20.3 and SD of 5.5, with an observed mean of 16.82 and SD of 6.06. The S pouse subscale had a reported mean of 16.9 and SD of 5.1, with an observed mean of 17.35 and SD of 5.22. The L ife S tress domain had reported mean of 7.8 and SD of 6.2, with an observed mean of 22.17 and SD of 33.81. The Infant Care Survey or (ICS); (Froman & Owen, 1989), is a 52 item scale which assesses infant care self

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92 of and skills regarding to infant care skills in the areas of health, safety and diet. Froman and Owen (1989) did not report a Mean and SD for their original sample. The observed mean was 5.76 with a SD of 5.15. The Parenting Sense of Competency Scale or (PSOCS); (Gibaud Wallston and m scale which measures the abilities and knowledge a parent perceives they posses in parent related situations. The PSOC had a reported mean of 63.83 and SD of 9.92, with and observed mean of 73.80 and SD of 16.29. The PSOC has 2 subscales, S atisfaction an d E fficacy. The Satisfaction subscale had a reported mean of 38.76 and SD of 5.87, with an observed mean of 36.54 and SD of 12.49. The E fficacy subscale had a reported mean of 25.08 and SD of 5.97, with an observed mean of 34.43 and SD of 11.79. The Percei ved Adequacy of Resources scale or (PAR); (Rowland, Dodder & Nickols, 1985) is a 28 item scale which measures perceived adequacy of resources. It looks at feelings about resources in the areas of physical environment, time, finances, community resources, k nowledge or skills, interpersonal and health or physical energy. The authors did not report mean and SD for the PAR and some of its subscales. The PAR total was observed to have a mean of 4.96 and SD of .93. The P hysical E nvironment subscale had a reporte d mean of 5.47, with an observed mean of 6.55 and SD of 3.88. The T ime subscale had reported mean of 4.27, with an observed mean of 3.76 and SD of 1.6. The F inance subscale had an observed mean of 4.81 and SD of 1.74. The C ommunity R esources subscale had a reported mean of 4.7, with an observed mean of 4.8 and SD of 1.11. The K nowledge or S kills subscale had an observed mean of 5.39 and SD of .93. The I nterpersonal subscale had a reported mean

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93 of 5.63, with an observed mean of 5.33 and SD of 1.41. The H ealt h or P hysical E nergy subscale had an observed mean of 5.5 and SD of 1.2. The Personal Resource Questionnaire or (PRQ); ( Brandt & Weinert, 198 1 ) is a two (2) part scale that provides two estimates of social support. Part one (1) was not used because it meas ured number of interpersonal resources counting the number of resources a participant could count on in nine (9) specific problem situations. Part two assesses perceived social support by looking at the five relational functions of support which include in timacy, social integration, assistance or guidance, self worth and nurturance. Brandt & Weinert (198 1 ) did not report a mean and SD for their original sample. The observed mean was 121.51 with a SD of 31. The Cope (Carver, Scheier & Weintraub, 1989) is a 6 0 item questionnaire developed with the belief that coping is a stable preference rather than a situation specific adaptation. It consists of 15 distinct subscales. There are 15 distinct subscales that are used to create four sub domains, E motion C oping, A ffective C oping, T ask C oping and C ognitive C oping. Carver, Scheier & Weintraub (1989) provided situational and dispositional means and standard deviations for their original sample. There was no evidence that it related to the current study. Emotion C opi ng had an observed mean of 41.62 and SD of 18.34. Affective C oping had an observed mean of 20.65 and SD of 6.4. Task C oping had an observed mean of 39.62 and SD of 14.53. Cognitive C oping had an observed mean of 33.27 and a SD of 4.91. The A ttachment scale was created for the purpose of this study (Spengler & Daniels A ttachment to their M A ttachment to

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94 their C hild. A stick figure is mov ed up or down the scale towards or away from the mother or child representing their feelings of attachment on a scale of 1 100. There is no normative data for this scale. The observed mean for A ttachment to C hild was 84.75 with a SD of 30.44. The observe d mean for A ttachment to M other was 74.51 with a SD of 27.99. Based on the information gathered, and a comparison of the observed and reported means, the data set is deemed reliable. I now turn my attention to the testing of the research hypotheses. Test of Hypotheses Hypothesis 1: There is no relationship between exercise and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers. This hypothesis was tested by examining the correlation coefficients between the following variables: exercise, including: (Child Domain consisting of the subscales D istractibility or H yperactivity, A daptability, Reinforces Parent D emandingness, M ood and A cceptability; Parent Domain consisting of the subscales C ompetence, I solation, A ttachment, H ealth, R ole R estriction, D epression and S pouse; and Life Stress), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) with its subscales of E fficacy and C ompetency, and the Infant Care (IC). A summary of the relationships between exercise, perceived stress and perceived competence is presented in Table One (4 1). The analysis revealed a negative relationship between exercise and some of the PSI subscales Higher scores on exercise were assoc iated with lower scores on Reinforces Parent (r= .2 9 p<.01) ; lower scores on Child Demandingness (r= .29, p<.01) ; lower scores on Parent Isolation (r= .2 8 p<.01) ; lower scores on Parent

PAGE 95

95 Attachment (r = .3 5 p<.01) ; lower scores on L ife S tress (r= .22, p< .05) ; and lower scores on C hild D istractibility or H yperactivity (r= .22, p<.05). A positive relationship was found between exercise and the PSOC Higher scores on exercise were associated with higher scores on PSOC Total (r=.27, p<.01) ; higher scores on t he PSOC Efficacy subscale ( r=.27, p<.01) ; and higher scores on the PSOC S atisfaction subscale (r=.24, p<.05). A positive relationship was observed between S tate anxiety and T rait anxiety the PSI and some of its subscales, and the PSOC Efficacy subscale. H igher scores on State Anxiety were associated with higher scores on Trait Anxiety (r=.7 9 p<.01) ; higher parenting stress scores, the PSI T otal (r=.58, p<.01) ; higher scores on the C hild D omain (r=.4 7 p<.01) ; higher scores on the P arent D omain (r=.6 3 p<. 01) ; higher scores on P arental I solation (r=.4 2 P<.01) ; higher scores on P arental R ole R estriction (r=.39, p<.01) ; higher scores on Depression (r=.5 2 p<.01) ; and higher scores on PSOC Efficacy (r=.2 5 p<.05) The scores for some of the PSI subtests used inverted scoring to explain parental response, for example, a high score on Adaptability means the parent perceives the child as less able to adapt to environmental changes. Higher scores on State Anxiety were associated with higher scores on C Adap tability (r=.40, p<.01) ; higher scores on P arental C ompetence (r=.55, p<.01) ; higher scores on P arental H ealth (r=.3 1 p<.01) ; and higher scores on S pousal S upport (r=. 30 p<.01). These PSI subscales were all inverse in their meaning. There was a negative relationship observed between S tate A nxiety (SA) and the PSI sub domains of L ife S tress (LS) C Distractibility or H yperactivity and

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96 Reinforces Parent and IC Higher scores on State Anxiety were associated with lower scores on Life Stress (r= .34, p< .01); lower scores on C D istractibility or H yperactivity (r= .3 8 p<.01) ; and lower scores on Infant Care (r= .38, p<.01). Higher scores on State Anxiety were associated with lower scores on Reinforces Parent (r= .29, p<.01) This PSI subscale was in verse in its meaning. A positive relationship observed between T rait A nxiety and the PSI as well as some of its sub domains. Higher scores on trait anxiety were associated with higher scores on overall parenting stress PSI Total (r=.4 6 p<.01) ; higher sc ores on Child Domain of Stress (r=.32, p<.01) ; higher scores on Parent Domain of Stress (r=.4 9 p<.01) ; higher scores on Parent Isolation (r=.5 1 p<.01) ; higher scores on R ole R estriction (r=.3 3 p<.01) ; and higher scores on D epression (r=.48, p<.01) Hig her scores on Trait Anxiety were associated with higher scores on S pousal S upport (r=.26, p<.05) ; higher scores on C hild A daptability (r=.29, p<.01) ; higher scores on Parent Competence (r=.4 8 p<.01) ; and higher scores on Parent Health (r=.29, p<.01) All of these PSI subscales were inverse in their meaning. The PSI scale was observed to have positive relationships with S tate A nxiety T rait A nxiety and the PSOC subscales of E fficacy and S atisfaction Higher scores on parenting stress were associated with h igher scores on State Anxiety (r=.58, p<.01); higher scores on Trait Anxiety (r=.4 6 p<.01) ; higher scores on Parenting Competence Efficacy (r=.3 6 p<.01) and higher scores on Parenting Competence Satisfaction (r=.34, p<.01). In contrast, t here was a negat ive relationship between the PSI and the IC Higher scores on parenting stress were associated with lower scores in Infant Care Efficacy (r= .56, p<.01).

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97 The Infant Care scale (IC) was observed to have no relationship with exercise or Trait Anxiety It was observed to have a negative relationship with S tate A nxiety PSI Total and PSOC total as well as the PSOC subscales E fficacy and S atisfaction. Negative relationships were also noted on the following PSI sub scales: Parent, Child, Child Adaptability, Pare nt Competence Parent Role Restriction and Parent Depression. Specifically, higher scores on infant care were associated with lower scores on State Anxiety (r= .38, p<.01); lower scores Parenting Stress (r= .56, p<.01) ; lower scores on Parenting Sense of C ompetence (r= .6 9 p<.01) ; lower scores on Parenting Efficacy (r= .77, p<.01) ; lower scores on Parenting Satisfaction (r= .7 9 P<.01) ; lower scores on PSI Parent Domain (r= .63, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child Domain (r= .58, p<.01); lower scores on Role Restriction (r= .29, p<.01) and lower scores on Parent Depression (r= .30, p<.01). Higher Infant Care scores were also associated with lower scores on Child Adaptability (r= .58, p<.01); and lower scores on Parent Competence (r= .53, p<.01) All of these PSI subscales were inverse in their meaning. A positive relationship was observed between the IC and the PSI sub scales of Life Stress C hild Distractibility or Hyperactivity C hild R einforce P arent C hild Demanding, Child Acceptability, and Parent Attac hment and Parent Health. Specifically, higher scores on Infant Care were associated with higher scores on Life Stress (r=.94, p<.01) ; higher scores on Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r=.9 5 p<.01) ; and higher scores on Child Demandingness (r=.63, p <.01). Higher scores on infant care were associated with higher scores on Parent Health (r=.25, p<.05); higher scores on Reinforces Parent (r=.79, p<.01); higher scores on

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98 Child Acceptability (r=.46, p<.01); and higher scores on Parent Attachment (r=.74, p <.01). All of these PSI subscales were inverse in there meaning. There was a positive relationship observed between the PSOC scale and exercise. There was also a positive relationship observed with the PSI subscales of Child, Parent and Child Adaptability. Higher scores on PSOC were associated with higher scores on exercise (r=.27, p<.01); higher scores on Parent Stress Child Domain (r=.29, p<.01); and higher scores on Parent Stress Parent Domain (r=.26, p<.05). Similarly, higher scores on PSOC were associa ted with higher scores on Child Adaptability (r=.25, p<.05), however, the meaning of the Child Adaptability score was inverse. In contrast, there was a negative relationship observed between PSOC and IC. There was also a negative relationship observed bet ween the PSOC and the following sub domains of the PSI: Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforce Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Isolation, Parent Attachment and Parent Health. Higher scores on PSOC were associated with lower scores on infant care (r= .69, p<.01); lower scores on Life Stress (r= .76, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r= .76, p<.01); lower scores on Child Demandingness (r= .65, p<.01) and lower scores on P arent Isolation (r= .27, p<.01). Similarly, higher scores on PSOC were associated with lower scores on Parent Attachment (r= .72, p<.01); lower scores on Parent Health (r= .34, p<.01); lower scores on Child Reinforcing Parent (r= .76, p<.01); and lower sc ores on Child Acceptability (r= .50, p<.01). All of these PSI subscales were inverse in there meaning.

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99 There were multiple components in testing this hypothesis including: exercise and perceived stress, exercise and perceived competence and perceived stres s and perceived competence. The analysis to test this hypothesis provided mixed results. A significant relationship between exercise and stress was observed. The results of the analysis of the relationship between exercise and competence and the results of the relationships between competence and stress were mixed. In reviewing a summary of the analyses of relationships it was found that 9 of the 23 tests of relationships were significant at the .05 level or greater. This number of significant relationships is far more than number expected by chance alone. On the basis of these analyses I am concluding the weight of the results points towards not accepting the null hypothesis. Hypothesis 2: There is no relationship between body image and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers. This hypothesis was tested using the Physical Self Perception Profile (PSPP) and two (2) of its five (5) subscales Body Attractiveness (BA) and Physical Self Worth (PSW), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (S TAI), the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) and Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood and Acceptability; Parent Domain consisting of the subsc ales Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression and Spouse; and Life Stress), the Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) with its subscales Efficacy and Satisfaction and the Infant Care (IC). A summary of the relationships betwee n body image, perceived stress and perceived competence is presented in Table Two (4 2).

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100 There was a positive relationship observed between the PSPP Body subscale and PSPP Self Worth subscale and the PSOC total, as well as the PSOC Satisfaction subscale. H igher scores on the PSPP Body variable were associated with higher scores on the PSPP Self Worth (r=.82, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC total (r=.29, p<.01) and higher scores on PSOC Satisfaction (r=.30, p<.01). In contrast there was a negative relationshi p observed between the PSPP Body subscale and State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety, PSI Total and the PSI subscales Parent, Parent Isolation, Parent Health, child, Child Reinforces Parent, and Parent Depression. Higher scores on PSPP Body were associated with lowe r scores on State Anxiety (r= .36, p<.01); lower scores on Trait Anxiety (r= .44, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Total (r= .30, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent (r= .31, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent Isolation (r= .31, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child (r= .23, p<.05) and lower scores on PSI Parent Depression (r= .22, p<.05). Similarly, higher scores on PSPP Body were associated with lower scores on PSI Child Reinforce Parent (r= .25, p<.05); and lower scores on PSI Parent Health (r= .33, p<.01). All of these PSI subscales were inverse in their meaning. For example, a low score on Child Reinforces Parent means the child is experienced as a source of positive reinforcement. The PSPP Physical Self Worth (PSW) subscale was observed to have a positive relati onship with the PSOC Total as well as the PSOC Satisfaction subscale. Higher scores on PSPP Self Worth scale were associated with higher scores on PSOC Total (r=.32, p<.01); and higher scores on PSOC Satisfaction (r=.37, p<.01). There was a negative relati onship observed between PSPP PSW and State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety, PSI Total and the PSI subscales of Parent, Parent Isolation, Parent Health, Child

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101 Reinforces Parent, Parent Competence, Parent Attachment, Parent Role Restriction, Parent Depression and sp ouse. Higher scores on PSPP Self Worth scale were associated with lower scores on State Anxiety (r= .45, p<.01); lower scores on Trait Anxiety (r= .52, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Total (r= .32, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent Domain (r= .36, p<.01); lo wer scores on PSI Parent Isolation (r= .36, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent Role Restriction (r= .22, p<.05) and lower scores on PSI Parent Depression (r= .27, p<.05). Similarly, higher scores on PSPP Self Worth variable were associated with lower scor es on PSI Parent Health (r= .36, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child Reinforces Parent (r= .22, p<.05); lower scores on PSI Parent Competence (r= .24, p<.05); lower scores on PSI Parent Attachment (r= .22, p<.05); and lower scores on PSI parent spouse (r= .2 5, p<.05). However, these PSI subscales were inverse in their meaning. There were multiple components in the testing of this hypothesis including: body image and perceived stress, body image and perceived competence and perceived stress and perceived self competence. There was a strong direct relationship found between body image and parenting sense of competence. There was a strong negative relationship found between body image and stress. A negative relationship was observed between parenting stress and i nfant care competence as well as a negative relationship between state anxiety and infant care competence. There were no other significant results observed. In reviewing a summary of the analysis of relationships, 13 of the 25 tests of relationships were f ound to be significant at the .05 level or greater. This number of significant relationships is more than would be expected by chance. Based on this finding I determined that the hypothesis could not be accepted.

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102 Hypothesis 3: There is no rela tionship between available support and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers. This hypothesis was tested using the Perceived Adequacy of Resources Scale (PAR)with its subscales including: (Physical Environment, Time Resources, Financial Resources, Interpersonal Resources, Health or Physical Resources, Knowledge Skill Resources and Community Resources), the Personal Resource Questionnaire (PRQ), the State d omains including: (Child Domain consisting of the subscales Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood and Acceptability; Parent Domain consisting of the subscales Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression and Spouse; and Life Stress), the Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) with its subscales Efficacy and Satisfaction and the Infant Care (IC). A summary of the relationships between available support, perceived stress and perceived c ompetence is presented in Table Three (4 3). There was a positive relationship observed between PAR total and PRQ and PSOC Total and the PSOC Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales. Higher scores on PAR were associated with higher scores on PRQ (r=.48, p<.01) ; higher scores on PSOC Total (r=.35, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Efficacy (r=.31, p<.01) and higher scores on PSOC Satisfaction (r=.30, p<.01). In contrast there was a negative relationship observed between the PAR Total and State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety IC and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Parent Isolation, Parent Attachment, Parent Health and spouse. Higher scores on Perceived Adequacy

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103 of Resources were associated with lower scores on State Anxiety (r= .27, p<.01); lower scores on Trait Anxiety (r= .34, p<.01); lower scores on Infant Care (r= .28, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Life Stress (r= .30, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r= .23, p<.05); lower scores on PSI Child Demandingness (r= .30, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Parent Isolation (r= .43, p<.01). The scores for the following subtests used inverted scoring to explain parent response, for example a low score on PSI Parent means t he parent does experience the child as a source of positive reinforcement. Higher scores on PAR were associated with lower scores on PSI Reinforces Parent (r= .30, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent Attachment (r= .32, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent He alth (r= .39, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Parent Spouse (r= .23, p<.05). Similarly, there was a negative relationship observed between the PRQ and IC, the PAR Physical Environment subscale and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Attachment and Parent Health. Higher scores on PRQ were associated with lower scores on Infant Care (r= .83, p<.01); lower scores on PAR Physical Environment (r= .71, p<.01); lower scores on Life Stress (r= .90, p<.01); lower scores on Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r= .89, p<.01) and lower scores on Child Demandingness (r= .66, p<.01). Higher scores on PRQ were also associated with lower scores on Child Reinfo rces Parent (r= .86, p<.01); lower scores on Child Acceptability (r= .44, p<.01); lower scores on Parent Attachment (r= .76, p<.01) and lower scores on Parent Health (r= .24, p<.05) which all had inverted meaning in relation to the score.

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104 In contrast there was a positive relationship observed between the PRQ and State Anxiety, PAR Total and PAR subscales of Physical Health, Interpersonal Resources, Knowledge Skill Resources, PSOC Total and PSOC Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales, PSI Total and PSI subscale s of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability and Parent Competence. Higher scores on PRQ were associated with higher scores on State Anxiety (r=.23, p<.05); higher scores on PAR (r=.48, p<.01); higher scores on PAR Physical Health (r=.51, p<.01); higher scores o n PAR Interpersonal Resources (r=.60, p<.01); higher scores on PAR Knowledge Skill Resources (r=.40, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Total (r=.77, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Efficacy (r=.83, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Satisfaction (r=.84, p<.01); highe r scores on overall Parenting Stress (r=.44, p<.01); higher scores on Child Parenting stress (r=.53, p<.01) and higher scores on Parent Stress (r=.49, p<.01). Higher scores on PRQ were also associated with higher scores on Child Adaptability (r=.50, p<.01) and higher scores on Parent Competence (r=.40, p<.01). These PSI subscales were inverse in their meaning. There were multiple components in testing this hypothesis including: perceived general support and perceived stress, perceived general support and pe rceived competence and perceived stress and perceived competence. There were mixed relationships found between measures for support and measures for stress as well as support and competence. Results were mixed regarding the relationship between stress and competence. There was a negative relationship between parenting stress and infant care competence as well as a relationship between state anxiety and infant care competence. No other significant relationships were observed. In reviewing a summary of the an alysis of relationships it was found that 11 of the 15 tests of relationships were

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105 significant at the .05 level or greater. This number of significant relationships is more than would be found by chance. On the basis of these analyses I am concluding the w eight of the results points towards not accepting this hypothesis. Hypothesis 4: There is no difference between working and non working This hypothesis was tested using a question about working or no t working, The State including: (Child Domain consisting of the subscales Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood and Acceptability ; Parent Domain consisting of the subscales Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression and Spouse; and Life Stress), Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) and its subscales of Efficacy and Satisfaction and Infant Care (IC). A su mmary of means and standard deviations of working and non working mothers appears in Table Four (4 4). In reviewing a summary of the differences between working and non working mothers, no differences were found, thus the hypothesis was accepted. Hypothe sis 5: There is no difference between pre and post natal childcare education and levels of perceived stress and perceived competence in new mothers. This hypothesis was tested using a question off the demographic questionnaire about parent e ducation and ex perience, State Trait Anxiety Scale (STAI), Parenting subscales D istractibility or H yperactivity, A daptability, R einforces P arent, D emandingness, M ood and A cceptability; Par ent Domain consisting of the subscales

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106 C ompetence, I solation, A ttachment, H ealth, R ole R estriction, D epression and S pouse; and Life Stress), Infant Care (IC), and the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) with its subscales E fficacy and S atisfaction. A summ ary of means and standard deviations for parents who chose to participate or not in childcare education as well as a summary of the significant differences between the groups can be found Table Five (4 5). In an examination of the results of the t test it was found that only 1 of 23 tests of differences was found to be significant at the .05 level or greater. This finding was not enough to rule out a chance occurrence. On the basis of these analyses, the hypothesis was accepted. H ypothesis 6: There is no re lationship between ability to cope and perceived competence and level of stress This hypothesis was tested using the COPE and its subscales Task Coping, Emotion Coping, Avoidance Coping and Cognitive Coping, the State Trait Anxiety Scale (STAI), the Paren consisting of the subscales Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood and Acceptability; Parent Domain consisting of the subscales Competence Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression and Spouse; and Life Stress), the Infant Care (IC) and the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) with its subscales of Efficacy and Satisfaction. A summary of the relationships between ability to cope, perceived stress and perceived competence is presented in Table Six (4 6). There was a positive relationship between Task Coping and Emotional Coping, Affect Coping, IC, and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or

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107 Hyperactivity, C hild Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Attachment and Cognitive Coping. Higher scores on Task Coping were associated with higher scores on Emotional Coping (r=.86, p<.01); higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping (r= .63, p<.01); higher scores on infant care (r=.78, p<.01); higher scores on Life Stress (r=.81, p<.01); higher scores on Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r=.84, p<.01); higher scores on PSI Child Demandingness (r=.53,p<.01) and higher scores on Cogni tive Coping (r=.21, p<.05). The scores for the following subtests used inverted scoring to explain parent response, for example a low score on PSI Parent means the parent does experience the child as a source of positive reinforcement. Higher scores on Tas k Coping were associated with higher scores on Parent Reinforcement (r=.75, p<.01); higher scores on Child Acceptability (r=.39, p<.01); and higher scores on Parent Attachment (r=.63, p<.01). In contrast, negative relationships were observed between Task Coping and State Anxiety, PSI Total, PSOC Total and both the Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales and the PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability, Parent Competence, Parent Role Restriction, Parent Depression and Trait Anxiety. Specifically, high er scores on Task Coping were associated with lower scores on State Anxiety (r= .46, p<.01); lower scores on Trait Anxiety (r= .21, p<.05); lower scores on PSI Total (r= .60, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child (r= .58, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent (r= .65, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent Role Restriction (r= .36, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent Depression (r= .35, p<.01); lower scores on PSOC Total (r= .62, p<.01); lower scores

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108 on PSOC Efficacy (r= .73, p<.01) and lower scores on PSOC Satisfactio n (r= .74, p<.01). Higher scores on task coping were associated with lower scores on PSI Child Adaptability (r= .55, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Parenting Competence (r= .60, p<.01). All of these PSI subscales were inverse in there meaning. There was a positive relationship observed between Emotional Coping and Task Coping, Affect or Avoidance Coping, IC and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability and Par ent Attachment. Higher scores on Emotional coping were associated with higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping (r=.65, p<.01); higher scores on Infant Care (r=.85, p<.01); higher scores on Life Stress (r=.86, p<.01); higher scores on Child Distracti bility or Hyperactivity (r=.92, p<.01) and higher scores on Child Demandingness (r=.57, p<.01). Similarly, higher scores on emotional coping were associated with higher scores on Child Reinforcement of Parent (r=.80, p<.01), however, this subscale is inver se in its meaning. Other relationships with inverse meanings include higher scores on Emotional Coping which were associated with higher scores on Child Acceptability (r=.42, p<.01) and higher scores on Parent Attachment (r=.70, p<.01). In contrast, there was a negative relationship between Emotional Coping and State Anxiety, PSI Total and the PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability, Parent Competence, Parental Role Restriction and Depression, and PSOC Total and the Efficacy and Satisfaction sub scales. Higher scores on Emotional Coping were associated with lower scores on State Anxiety (r= .40, p<.01); lower scores on overall

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109 Parenting Stress (r= .60, p<.01); lower scores on Child Related Stress (r= .65, p<.01); lower scores on Parent Related Str ess (r= .66, p<.01); lower scores on Parent Depression (r= .32, p<.01); lower scores on PSOC Total (r= .69, p<.01); lower scores on PSOC Efficacy (r= .79, p<.01) and lower scores on PSOC Satisfaction (r= .80, p<.01). Similar relationships that had inverse meaning included Higher scores on Emotional Coping which were associated with lower scores on Child Adaptability (r= .57, p<.01); lower scores on Parent Competence (r= .57, p<.01) and lower scores on Parent Role Restriction (r= .33, p<.01). A positive rel ationship was observed between Affective or Avoidance Coping and Task Coping, Emotional Coping, Trait Anxiety, IC and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptabilit y, Parent Isolation, Parent Attachment and Parent Health. Higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping were associated with higher scores on Trait Anxiety (r=.23, p<.05); higher scores on PSI Life Stress (r=.65, p<.01); higher scores on PSI Child Distrac tibility or Hyperactivity (r=.65, p<.01); higher scores on Demandingness (r=.50, p<.01); higher scores on Isolation (r=.23, p<.05) and higher scores on Infant Care (r=.60, p<.01). Similarly, higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping were associated wi th higher scores on Parent Reinforcement (r=.61, p<.01), however, this subscale is inverse in its meaning. Other relationships with inverse meaning include higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping which were associated with higher scores on Acceptabi lity (r=.36, p<.01); higher scores on Attachment (r=.59, p<.01) and higher scores on Parent Health (r=.22, p<.05).

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110 In contrast, there was a negative relationship between Affective or Avoidance Coping and PSI Total and PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability and Parent Competence and PSOC Total and the Satisfaction and Efficacy subscales. Higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping were associated with lower scores on PSI Total (r= .21, p<.05); lower scores on PSI Child (r= .30, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Parent (r= 24, p<.05); lower scores on PSOC Total (r= .63, p<.01); lower scores on PSOC Efficacy (r= .62, p<.01) and lower scores on PSOC Satisfaction (r= .71, p<.01). Similarly, higher scores on Affective or Avoidance Coping were associated with lower scores on Child Adaptability (r= .28, p<.01) and lower scores on Parent Competence (r= .20, p<.05). All of these PSI subscales were inverse in there meaning. A negative relationship was observed between Cognitive Coping and State Anxiety, Task C oping, Trait Anxiety and the Parent Health subscale of the PSI. Higher scores on Cognitive Coping were associated with lower scores on State Anxiety (r= .26, p<.01) and lower scores on Trait Anxiety (r= .23, p<.05). Higher scores on Cognitive Coping were a ssociated with lower scores on PSI Parent Health (r= .31, p<.01). This PSI subscale was inverse in its meaning. Task, emotional and affective or avoidance coping all had positive relationships with infant care competence and negative relationships with pa renting competence. Task Coping, emotional coping and cognitive coping had a negative relationship with stress. Affective or avoidance coping had a negative relationship with parenting stress and a direct relationship with trait Anxiety. No other significa nt relationships were observed. In reviewing a summary of the relationships, 22 of the 26 tests of relationships for task coping, 20 of the 26 tests of relationships for emotional coping, 20

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111 of the 26 tests of relationships for affective/ avoidance coping and 4 of the 26 tests of relationships for cognitive coping were found to have significance at the .05 level or greater. This was greater than would be expected by chance. On the basis of these analyses I am concluding the weight of the results points towa rds not accepting the null hypothesis. stress and perceived competence. To aide in clarification and understanding, hypothesis seven (7) was broken into two sub hypotheses. H7A: There perceived stress and perceived competence. perceived stress and perceived competence. This hypothesis was teste d using the Attachment scale with the subscales of Attachment to Mother and Attachment to Child, the State Trait Inventory (STAI), the of the subscales Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood and Acceptability; Parent Domain consisting of the subscales Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression and Spouse; and Life Stress), the Infant Care survey ( IC) and the Parenting Sense of Competency Scale (PSOC) with its subscales of Efficacy and Satisfaction. A summary of the perceived competence is presented in Table Seven (4 7), a nd a summary of the

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112 perceived competence is presented in Table Eight (4 8). There was a negative relationship observed between the sub scale Attachment to Mother and IC as well as the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability and Parent Attachment. Higher scores on Attachment to Mother were associated with lower scores on PSI Life Stress (r= .69, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r= .71, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Child Demandingness (r= .52, p<.01) and higher scores on Attachment to Mother were associated with lower scores on Infant care (r= .65, p<.01 ). Similarly, higher scores on Attachment to Mother were associated with lower scores on PSI Child Reinforces Parent (r= 67, p<.01), however, this subscale is inverse in its meaning. Other relationships with inverse meaning include: higher scores on Attach ment to Mother which were associated with lower scores on Child Acceptability (r= .29, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Parent Attachment (r= .58, p<.01). In contrast, a positive relationship was observed between Attachment to Mother and Attachment to Chi ld, PSI Total and the subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability and Parent Competence, and the PSOC Total as well as both the Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales. Higher scores on Attachment to Mother were associated with higher scores on Attachment t o Child (r=.73, p<.01); higher scores on PSI Total (r=.35, p<.01); higher scores on PSI Child (r=.41, p<.01); higher scores o PSI Parent (r=.39, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Total (r=.62, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Efficacy (r=.70, p<.01) and higher sc ores on PSOC Satisfaction (r=.65, p<.01).

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113 Similarly, higher scores on Attachment to Mother were associated with higher scores on Child Adaptability (r=.37, p<.01) and higher scores on PSI Parent Competence (r=.32, p<.01), however, all of these PSI subscal es were inverse in there meaning. There was a negative relationship observed between Attachment to Child and Infant Care and the PSI subscales Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Accep tability, and Parent Attachment. Higher scores on attachment to child were associated with lower scores on Infant Care (r= .88, p<.01); lower scores on PSI Life Stress (r= .95, p<.01); lower scores on Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity (r= .95, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Child Demandingness (r= .69, p<.01). Similarly, higher scores on Attachment to Child were associated with lower scores on PSI Child Reinforces Parent (r= .90, p<.01), however, this subscale is inverse in its meaning. Other relations hips with inverted meaning include higher scores on Attachment to Child which were associated with lower scores on PSI Child Acceptability (r= .51, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Parent Attachment (r= .80, p<.01). In contrast, a positive relationship was f ound with Attachment to Child, State Anxiety, PSI Total and the subscales Child, Parent, Child Adaptability, Parent Competence, the PSOC Total and the subscales of Efficacy and Satisfaction. Higher scores on Attachment to Child were associated with higher scores on State Anxiety (r=.37, p<.01); higher scores on PSI Total (r=.53, p<.01); higher scores on PSI Child (r=.57, p<.01), higher scores on PSI Parent (r=.61, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Total (r=.79, p<.01); higher scores on PSOC Efficacy (r=.88, p<. 01) and higher scores

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114 on PSOC Satisfaction (r=.87, p<.01). Similarly, higher scores on Attachment to Child were associated with higher scores on PSI Child Adaptability (r=.52, p<.01) and lower scores on PSI Parent Competence (r=.50, p<.01). All of these PS I subscales were inverse in there meaning. attachment to her child and perceived competence and perceived stress and perceived competence. 7A: This hypothesis was not accepted. Attachment to mother had a direct relationship to parenting stress. There was a negat ive relationship to infant care competence and a direct relationship to parenting competence. No other significant relationships were observed. In reviewing a summary of the relationships it was found that 16 of the 24 tests of relationships were significa nt at the .05 level or greater. This is more than would be expected by chance; therefore on the basis of these analyses the null hypothesis was not accepted. 7B: This hypothesis was not accepted. Attachment to child had a negative relationship to infant ca re competence and a direct relationship to parenting competence. There was a direct relationship to state and Trait Anxiety as well as parenting stress. No other significant relationships were observed. In reviewing a summary of the relationships it was fo und that 19 of the 24 tests of relationships were significant at the .05 level or greater. This is more than would be expected by chance. Based on these analyses the null hypothesis was not accepted.

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115 Hypothesis 8 perception of support and stress and perceived competence To aide in clarification and understanding, hypothesis eight (8) has been broken into three hypotheses. and stress and competence. and perceived stress and competence. This hypothesis was tested using a family and friend support self report question, the Perceived Adequacy of Resources (PA R) with its subscales including: (Physical Environment, Time Resources, Financial Resources, Interpersonal Resources, Health or Physical Resources, Knowledge Skill Resources and Community Resources) and Attachment to Mother to measure support, the State Tr ait Anxiety scale (STAI) and the of the subscales Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood and Acceptability; Parent Domain consisting of the subscales Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression and Spouse; and Life Stress),to measure stress and the Infant Care Survey (IC) and the Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) with its subscales of Efficacy a nd Satisfaction to support from friends, perceived stress and perceived competence is presented in Table Nine (4 ort from family, perceived stress and perceived competence is presented in Table Ten (4 10).

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116 There were multiple components in testing this hypothesis including: perceived support from friends and perceived stress, perceived support from friends and perc eived competence, perceived support from family and perceived stress, perceived support from family and perceived competence, perceived general support and perceived stress, perceived general support and perceived competence, perceived competence and perce ived stress. There was no difference between family support and trait or state anxiety, infant care competence, parenting stress or parenting competence. There was a negative difference between friend support and state anxiety, trait anxiety and parenting stress. There was a positive difference between both family and friend support and perceived adequacy of resources. 8A: This hypothesis was not rejected for family support. No difference was observed between Family support and stress and competence. In rev iewing a summary of the relationships it was found that 5 of the 14 tests of differences were significant at the .05 level or greater. This is was not more than could be expected by chance. 8B: This hypothesis was not rejected for friend support. There was a negative difference observed between friend support and stress and no relationship with competence. In reviewing a summary of the differences it was found that 4 of the 14 test of differences were significant at the .05 level or greater. This is was no t more than could be expected by chance.

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117 Table 4 1. Summary of relationship between exercise, perceived stress, perceived competence Scale Pearson Correlation Exercise 1 State Anxiety .04 Trait Anxiety .09 Parenting Stress Index Child .02 Parenting Stress Index Parent .03 Parenting Stress Index Total .00 Parenting Stress Index Life Stress .22(*) Parenting Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper .22(*) Parenting Stress Index Child Adaptability .02 Parenting Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent .2 7(**) Parenting Stress Index Child Demanding .29(**) Parenting Stress Index Mood .09 Parenting Stress Index Child Acceptability .17 Parenting Stress Index Parent Competence .06 Parenting Stress Index Parent Isolation 28(**) Parenting Stress In dex Parent Attachment .35(**) Parenting Stress Index Parent Health .02 Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction .07 Parenting Stress Index Depression .03 Parenting Stress Index Spouse .01 Infant Care .13 PSOC Efficacy .27(**) PSOC Satisfaction 24(*) PSOC Total .27(**) *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2tailed).

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118 Table 4 2. Summary of relationship between body image, perceived stress and perceived competence. Scale P hysical Self Perception Body Physical Self Worth Physical Self Perception Body 1 .82(**) Physical Self Perception Personal Self Worth .82(**) 1 Physical Self Perception Discrepancy .55(**) 55(**) State Anxiety .36(**) .45(**) Trait Anxiety .44(**) .52(**) Parent Stress Index Child .22(*) .20 Parent Stress Index Parent .31(**) .36(**) Parent Stress Index Total .30(**) .32(**) Parent Stress Index Life Stress .15 .12 Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper .17 .12 Parent Stress Index Child Adaptability .17 .17 Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent .25(*) .22(*) Parent Stress Index Child Demanding .19 .16 Parent Stress Index Mood .04 .04 Parent Stress Index Child acceptability .20 .17 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence .20 .24 (*) Parent Stress Index -Parent Isolation .31(**) .36 (**) Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment .19 .22(*) Parent Stress Index Parent Health .33(**) .36 (**) Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction .21 .22(*) Parenting Stress Index Depre ssion .22(*) .27(*) Parenting Stress Index Spouse .19 .25(*) Infant Care .12 .08 PSOC Efficacy .20 .16 PSOC Satisfaction .30(**) .37(**) PSOC Total .29(**) .32 (**) *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level ( 2tailed). **. Correlation is sign ificant at the 0.01 level (2tailed).

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119 Table 4 3. Summary of relationship between perceived support, perceived stress and perceived competence Scale PAR Physical Environment PAR Physical Environment 1.00 PAR Physical Health .26(*) PAR Time Resources .19 PAR Financial resources .22(*) PAR Interpersonal Resources .31(**) PAR Knowledge Skill Resources .08 PAR Community resources .15 PAR Total .30(**) PAR Actual without extra Total .04 PSOC Efficacy .71(**) PSOC Satisfaction .72(**) PSOC Total .6 3(**) Personal Resource Question .72(**) State Anxiety .43(**) Trait Anxiety .24(*) Infant Care .88(**) *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2tailed).

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120 Table 4 4. T test for equ ality of means between work, perceived stress and perceived competence. Scale Mean Difference t State Anxiety 3.25 1.09 Trait Anxiety 2.96 1.19 Parent Stress Index Child 0.72 0.11 Parent Stress Index Parent 5.17 0.56 Parent Stress Index Total 4.28 0.31 Parent Stress Index Life Stress 3.87 0.43 Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper 8.39 0.52 Parent Stress Index Child Adaptability 0.10 0.05 Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent 0.34 0.21 Parent Stress Index Child Dema nding 0.57 0.36 Parent Stress Index Mood 0.16 0.19 Parent Stress Index Child acceptability 0.32 0.26 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence 0.51 0.26 Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation 1.41 1.22 Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment 0.80 0.51 P arent Stress Index Parent Health 0.20 0.20 Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction 0.21 0.14 Parenting Stress Index Depression 1.00 0.62 Parenting Stress Index Spouse 0.36 0.25 Infant Care 1.25 0.91 PSOC Efficacy 0.24 0.07 PSOC Satisfaction 0. 23 0.07 PSOC Total 0.31 0.07 Work 0.07 0.49 *Significant at the .05 level (2 tailed) **Significant at the .01 level (2 tailed) Degrees of freedom = 94 for all test

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121 Table 4 5. Summary of the Means and SD for choice in Parenting Education. Scale Parent Class/ Education YES NO M/ SD M/SD t State Anxiety 35.33/11.63 31.29/9.37 1.54 Trait Anxiety 37.76/9.17 34.33/9.39 1.58 Post Infant Care 5.54/4.72 6.43/6. 35 .73 PSOC Efficacy 35.37/11.20 31.60/13.25 1.36 PSOC Satisfaction 37.43/11.66 33.90/14.66 1.20 PSOC Total 75.22/15.23 69.54/18.85 1.49 Parent Stress Index Child 85.94/23.21 78.42/28.52 1.30 Parent Stress Inde x Parent 106.82/33.64 98.92/36.02 .98 Parent Stress Index Total 195.11/49.14 181.46/55.28 1.14 Parent Stress Index Life Stress 20.11/31.41 28.33/40.28 1.03 Parent Stress Index Distract/Hyper 41.36/55.56 53.96/72.00 .8 9 Parent Stress Index Adapt 22.47/7.73 19.04/7.66 1.89 Parent Stress Index Reinforce Parent 9.57/5.70 10.88/6.98 .92 Parent Stress Index Demanding 15.69/5.36 17.17/7.06 1.07 Parent Stress Index Mood 8.67/3.23 9.00/3.16 .44 Parent Stress Index accept 10.44/4.25 11.38/5.96 .84 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence 21.99/6.89 21.83/8.83 .09 Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation 12.25/4.56 11.88/3.62 .37 Parent Stres s Index Parent Attachment 11.74/5.51 14.00/6.54 1.66 Parent Stress Index Parent Health 12.86/3.83 13.13/3.41 .30 PSI Role Restriction 18.71/5.79 16.38/4.87 1.77 PSI Depression 16.97/6.05 16.38/6.21 .45 PSI Spouse 17.99/5.44 15.46/4.03 2.09(*) *Difference is significant at the .05 level (2 tailed) **Difference is significant at the .01 level (2 tailed

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122 Table 4 6. Summary of relationship between c oping, perceived stress and perceived competence. Scale Task Coping Emotional Coping Affective/ Avoidance Coping Cognitive Coping Task Coping 1 .86(**) .63(**) .21(*) Emotional Coping .86(**) 1 .65(**) .02 Affective Coping .63(**) .65(**) 1 .01 Cognitive Coping .21(*) .02 .01 1 State Anxiety .46(**) .40(**) .11 .26(**) Trait Anxiety .21(*) .14 .23(*) .23(*) Parent Stress Index Child .58(**) .65(**) .30(**) .09 Parent Stress Index Parent .65(**) .66(**) .24(*) .11 Parent Stress Index Total .60(**) .60(**) .21(*) .03 Parent Stress Index Life Stress .81(**) .86(**) .65(**) .10 Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper .84(**) .92(**) .65(**) .05 Parent Stress Index Child Adaptability .55(**) .57(**) .28(**) .16 Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent .75(**) .80( **) .61(**) .01 Parent Stress Index Child Demanding .53(**) .57(**) .50(**) .03 Parent Stress Index Mood .04 .02 .07 .10 Parent Stress Index Child acceptability .39(**) .42(**) .36(**) .09 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence .60(**) .57(**) 20(*) .18 Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation .10 .06 .23(*) .13 Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment .63(**) .70(**) .59(**) .05 Parent Stress Index Parent Health .03 .15 .22(*) .31(**) Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction .36(**) .33(**) .00 .00 Parenting Stress Index Depression .35(**) .32(**) .09 .17 Parenting Stress Index Spouse .01 .03 .15 .13 Infant Care .78(**) .85(**) .60(**) .09 PSOC Efficacy .73(**) .79(**) .62(**) .12 PSOC Satisfaction .74(**) .80(**) .71(**) .11 (**) PSOC Total .62(**) .69(**) .63(**) .17 *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2tailed).

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123 Table 4 7. Summary of relationship between attachment to mother, perceived stress and perceived competence. Scale Attachment Mother Attachment Mother 1 Attachment Child .73(**) State Anxiety .17 Trait Anxiety .04 Parent Stress Index Child .41(**) Parent Stress Index Parent .39(**) Parent Stress Index Total .35(**) Parent Stress Ind ex Life Stress .69(**) Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper .71(**) Parent Stress Index Adaptability .37(**) Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent .67(**) Parent Stress Index Child Demanding .52(**) Parent Stress Index Mood .04 Parent Str ess Index Child acceptability .29(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Competence .32(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation .10 Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment .58(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Health .11 Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction 14 Parenting Stress Index Depression .13 Parenting Stress Index Spouse .13 Infant Care .65(**) PSOC Efficacy .70(**) PSOC Satisfaction .65(**) PSOC Total .62(**) *. Correlation is significant at the 0.0 5 level (2tailed). Correlation is signifi cant at the 0.0 1 level (2tailed).

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124 Table 4 8. Summary of relationship between attachment to child, perceived stress and perceived competence Scale Attachment to Child Attachment Mother .73(**) Attachment Child 1 State Anxiety .37(**) Trait Anxiety .1 0 Parent Stress Index Child .57(**) Parent Stress Index Parent .61(**) Parent Stress Index Total .53(**) Parent Stress Index Life Stress .95(**) Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper .95(**) Parent Stress Index Child Adaptability .52(**) Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent .90(**) Parent Stress Index Child Demanding .69(**) Parent Stress Index Mood .04 Parent Stress Index Child acceptability .51(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Competence .50(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation .04 Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment .80(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Health .14 Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction .30(**) Parenting Stress Index Depression .25(*) Parenting Stress Index Spouse .06 Infant Care .88(**) PSOC Efficacy .8 8(**) PSOC Satisfaction .87(**) PSOC Total .79(**) *. Correlation is significant at the 0.0 5 level (2tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2tailed).

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125 Table 4 9. Summary of i ndependent s amples t est for s upport f rom f riends Scale Mean Difference t Post Infant Care 0.17 0.11 PAR Physical Environment 0.82 0.68 PAR Physical Health 0.24 0.63 PAR Time Resources 0.75 1.52 PAR Financial resources 0.12 0.23 PAR Interpersonal Resources 1.46 3.55(**) PAR Knowledge Sk ill Resources 0.54 1.91 PAR Community resources 0.91 2.75(**) PAR Total 0.58 2.21(*) PAR Actual without extra Total 0.76 2.74(**) PSOC Efficacy 1.30 0.36 Attachment Mother 5.73 0.66 Attachment Child 0.32 0.03 State Anxiety 9.44 2.83(**) Trait A nxiety 6.01 2.13(*) Parent Stress Index Child 14.79 1.97 Parent Stress Index Parent 28.18 2.76(**) Parent Stress Index Total 42.73 2.82(**) Parent Stress Index Life Stress 0.86 0.08 Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper 0.27 0.02 Pare nt Stress Index Child Adaptability 3.96 1.66 Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent 0.88 0.47 Parent Stress Index Child Demanding 1.93 1.07 Parent Stress Index Mood 1.43 1.45 Parent Stress Index Child acceptability 2.75 1.92 Parent Str ess Index Parent Competence 5.77 2.64(*) Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation 4.39 3.48(**) Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment 1.37 0.76 Parent Stress Index Parent Health 1.70 1.48 Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction 4.91 2.93(**) Par enting Stress Index Depression 4.96 2.74(**) Parenting Stress Index Spouse 4.55 2.93(**) PSOC Satisfaction 5.15 1.34 PSOC Total 6.63 1.32 *. Difference is significant at the 0.05 level (2tailed). **. Difference is significan t at the 0.01 level (2tailed). Degrees of Freedom were 94 for all

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126 Table 4 10. Summary of i ndependent s amples t est s ummary t able for s upport from f amily Scale Mean Difference t Post Infant Care 0.86 0.80 PAR Physical Environment 0.89 1.1 1 PAR Physical Health 0.29 1.18 PAR Time Resources 0.24 0.71 PAR Financial resources 0.62 1.72 PAR Interpersonal Resources 0.96 3.46 (**) PAR Knowledge Skill Resources 0.20 1.03 PAR Community Resources 0.60 2.66 (**) PAR Total 0.44 2.54 (*) PAR Actual without extra Total 0.56 3.00 (**) PSOC Efficacy 0.39 0.16 Attachment Mother 13.38 2.36 (*) Attachment Child 0.53 0.08 State Anxiety 3.73 1.62 Trait Anxiety 2.19 1.13 Parent Stress Index Child 3.13 0.61 Parent Stress Index Parent 4.19 0.59 Parent Stress Index Total 7.42 0.70 Parent Stress Index Life Stress 4.08 0.58 Parent Stress Index Child Distract/Hyper 2.89 0.23 Parent Stress Index Child Adaptability 1.60 0.98 Parent Stress Index Child Reinforce Parent 0.82 0.66 Parent Stress Index Child Demanding 0.32 0.26 Parent Stress Index Mood 0.08 0.11 Parent Stress Index Child Acceptability 1.40 1.44 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence 0.56 0.36 Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation 0.60 0.67 Parent Stress Index Parent Attach ment 0.10 0.08 Parent Stress Index Parent Health 0.56 0.72 Parenting Stress Index Role Restriction 1.09 0.93 Parenting Stress Index Depression 0.40 0.31 Parenting Stress Index Spouse 0.83 0.76 PSOC Satisfaction 0.66 0.25 PSOC Total 1.09 0.32 *. Difference is significant at the 0.05 level (2tailed). **. Difference is significant at the 0.01 level (2tailed). Degrees of Freedom were 94 for all

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127 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between level of fi tness, level of support, attachment, career and child care education, and perceived level of stress and perceived child care competence in first time mothers with healthy newborns. The conclusions of the study are presented followed by a discussion of the results, implications for future research and practice, and limitations A cross sectional convenience sample was used to conduct the study. Participants were first time expectant mothers with no pregnancy or delivery complications. First time expectant m others were defined as married women between the ages of 24 35 who were between 2 months and 8 months post partum, experienced no complications during their pregnancy or with the delivery and had no health issues with the baby. The sample was drawn from p atients who were being seen by healthcare personnel at or associated with Shands North Florida Hospital, the University of Florida, referrals from friends and other participants. Most of the participants were from within Alachua county Florida, althoug h there were some from outside the area due to the referral process. T he sample of participants was older, highly educated and mostly Caucasian middle class. Separate analyses were conducted for each of the eight (8) research hypotheses. The analyses exam ined relationships among variables using the appropriate correlation coefficients. Tests for differences were examined using t for independent groups Limitations, Conclusions and Discussion The original intent of the researcher was to select a sam ple that would represent all women in North Central Florida in a longitudinal study. Because of recruiting issues,

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128 it was necessary to modify the research design. Though the same sampling strategy was used, the sample obtained differed from what the resear cher originally hoped to obtain. The sample was drawn mostly from within Alachua county Florida, although there were some from outside the area due to the referral process. T he sample of participants was one that was older, highly educated and mostly middl e class Caucasian Part of the difficulty getting a broader sample was limited access to participants. Some hospitals and clinics selected for the study may have been difficult for women without insurance or financial means to visit. Another source of diff iculty in obtaining participants may have been the fact that having the surveys completed online was a hindrance to potential participants who did not have access to email and computers. Recruiting pregnant women proved to be a delicate issue, and the leas t invasive method of data collection was chosen to ensure IRB approval. If the study were to be conducted again, it might be preferable to use paper and pencil versions of the instruments, thus making for easier access. The sampling sites might also be bro adened to include more facilities around the Southeast. There were also some issues with the instruments used. For example, a constant conflict in the data obtained from the Infant Care (IC) scale and the Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) scale was obse rved. It was determined that these instruments measured two distinctly different constructs of infant care efficacy, instrumental efficacy and expressive efficacy. Evidence of these two forms of efficacy was noted with other instruments used in the study. This difference warrants further exploration. Bandura(1977) introduced the concept of self efficacy, or self belief, to his Social Cognitive Theory. Self efficacy was the concept he felt had been missing from his

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129 original Social Cognitive Theory. The theo ry maintained that individuals are proactive in their own development and through their actions can make things happen. Self efficacy for and execute the performance of an action. Simon (1995) expanded on the three assessment. She stated that for Bandura, self monitoring was an important concept, which was influenced by the e n that there are three types of internal influences that regulate motivation: perceived self efficacy, affective self evaluation, and the adjustment of personal standards upon attainment. She described these three types of internal influences as being eva luative and adaptive processes. In doing so, Simon brought to light a more expressive dimension of self efficacy theory, which had previously been focused more on its instrumental elements. It was around this expanded theoretical model of self efficacy th at the study was based and therefore it is through the lens of self efficacy that the results will be discussed. Both the instrumental and expressive interpretations of self efficacy will be used in discussing the results of this investigation. The discuss ion will be organized by research questions. A rationale for each question will be provided, followed by the results of the question and an explanation for the results. It is suggested that future research examine instrumental or expressive dimensions of p arenting with instruments selected accordingly.

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130 Another measurement issue pertained to the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) subscales of Life Stress and Child Hyperactivity or Distractibility. The correlations between these scales and others used in the study tended to yield anomalous data. One problem with the data may be that the life stress subscale was just the Life Stress Inventory attached to the PSI, and asked about both good and bad potential stressors that were not necessarily associated with being a new mother. Because of the anomalous nature of the data, the value of the information was called into question because it seemed irrelevant to the purpose of this study. Likewise, it was determined that trying to establish hyperactivity or distractibility in 2 6 month old children was not reasonable. Specifically, it cannot be assumed that one can determine attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHD) qualities in a child of that age. For this reason, this subscale was also deemed inappropriate for the purposes of this study. It is clear from information obtained in this study that instruments should be chosen carefully and be compatible with each other and the study overall. Research Question 1: Is there a r elationship between e xercise and levels of p e rceived s tress and p erceived c ompetence in new mothers? The question asked and maternal self confidence? Health is a known variable associated with level of crisis in the transition to parenthood (Russell, 1974). Pregnancy creates many changes in a mothers, as it is often difficult to get rid of after the baby is born. In addition to pro viding childcare, new mothers are also faced with the desire to return to their previous physical state. Research has shown that maternal self esteem and self confidence are a large

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131 component of the stress experienced by new mothers (McGrath & Myer, 1992). Maternal self confidence was defined by Wells and Marwell (1976) as the cognitive process associated with self evaluation. It was believed that those mothers involved in a form of exercise may perceive themselves as stronger and healthier, and therefore h ave more maternal self confidence. This would translate into a decrease in perceived stress and an increase in perceived competence as reported exercise increased. The answer to this question was obtained by examining the relationship between exercise, per ceived stress and perceived competence. The analysis provided mixed results. A negative relationship was found between exercise and some of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) subscales, including Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Parent Isolation Parent Attachment, Life Stress and Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity. Participants who reported being engaged in exercise also reported experiencing their child as a more positive reinforcement and less demanding. This may mean that new mothers who exercise may handle stressful situations better, may feel more affirmed by their child, or feel less stressed and perceive their child in a more positive light. It may also mean that they have better time management, organizational, and self management ski lls so they feel less stressed and perceive their child as less demanding. It may also be that by taking care of themselves, they find it easier to take care of their child. Participants who reported being engaged in exercise reported feeling less isolated and having a greater emotional closeness with their child. New mothers who exercise may have a social outlet where they can bond with others in their exercise and may handle stress better or feel less stressed and therefore feel more emotionally settled a nd able to bond with their child.

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132 In short, exercise appears to have a big potential payoff for new mothers. Participants who reported participating in exercise also reported lower life stress and lower child distractibility or hyperactivity. Mothers who exercise may use their exercise as a coping skill to deal with stress and therefore experience less life stress. They may These findings were expected and consisten t with the literature as exercise is known to variable in her experience o f stress. Positive mood changes such as decreased anxiety and depression have also been found (Koltyn & Schultes, 1997). A positive relationship was found between exercise and the Parenting Sense of Competency ( PSOC ) t otal PSOC Efficacy subscale and the PSOC S atisfaction subscale New mothers who exercised reported feeling less stressed, more capable of handling parenting stress, and more capable of handling parenting situations by incorporating good problem solving skills. They also reported feeling less stressed and therefore experienced their interactions with their child as more satisfying. These findings are consistent with findings that indicated increased stress was related to low perception of parenting ability ( Tessier et al 1992). A s exercise in creases and stress confidence and self esteem were found There are clearly some big payoffs from exercise for new mothers. At the same time it is important to remember that the study sample was predominately white mid dle class, and the results may not be generalizable to other groups of new mothers. Specifically, the characteristics of the sample make it difficult to generalize the results to

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133 the wider population because the sample may have more availability and easier access may also be that they maintain a lifestyle that is conducive to matters of health and exercise. White middle class women are more likely to follow the perceptions of health and fitness portrayed by popular culture. The relationship between stress and competence was mixed. A positive relationship was observed between S tate A nxiety and T rait A nxiety the PSI and some of its subscales including: the PSI T otal C hild D o main P arent D omain P arental I solation P arental R ole R estriction Depression, C A daptability P arental C ompetence P arental H ealth and S pousal S upport ; and the PSOC Efficacy subscale. New mothers who reported being more anxiety prone reported mor e stress in stressful situations and felt more overall stress towards parenting. New mothers who experienced high situational stress also reported feeling their child displayed qualities that made parenting difficult and they were more likely to feel overw helmed and inadequate at parenting. The results indicated that new mothers who reported high situational anxiety also feet their child did not adjust well to environmental changes, felt less parental competence, felt more socially and emotionally isolated felt that they had poorer health, and felt less emotional support from their partner in the area of childcare. New mothers who reported feeling more situational anxi ety also felt more problem solving competence. Low self efficacy is known to generate feelings of stress and anxiety (Pajares, 2002) so the findings were not expected.

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134 competence in ch ildcare. In 1985 Mercer reported that a new mother s perception of their problem solving competence may influence how stressful they perceive the experience of parenthood. Fewer life experiences may increase state anxiety and decrease feelings of competen ce (Crnic et al., 1983). her infant s temperament can be a source of stress (Ventura & Stevenson, 1986). The of her limitations with parental functioning also increase. Specifically, as f eelings of parental comp etence decrease, feelings of isolation increase, deterioration in parent health increase, feelings of freedom restriction increase as do feelings of depression and an increased sense of poor spousal support. Ventura, ( 1987) concluded that the birth of a c hild could leave parents feeling frustrated and resentful of traditional roles as well as experiencing changes in self image and feelings toward their spouse. Overall it was noted that new parents experience an increase in stress and a decrease in well be ing for at least the first year post partum (Miller & Sollie, 1980). As evidenced by a negative relationship between State Anxiety and Infant Care (IC), new mothers who reported feeling more situational anxiety reported less confidence in their childcare skills. This finding is consistent with previous studies ( Crnic, Greenberg, Ragozin, Robinson and Basham, 1983 ; Glass, 1983 ; and Pajares 2002) in which stress was found to impact satisfaction in new mothers and ha ve a negative impact on maternal attitudes and ability to recognize and respond to her bab s cues. Poor awareness of infant cues results in repeatedly failed attempts to control infant activity that esteem

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135 A negative relationship was observed between S tat e A nxiety and the PSI sub domains of L ife S tress, C D istractibility or H yperactivity and Reinforces Parent. New mothers who reported high situational anxiety also indicated their child was a source of positive reinforcement. Likewise, new mothers wh o reported high situational anxiety also felt they had fewer life stressors beyond their control, and that their child did not display behaviors associated with ADHD. The findings were unexpected as life stress is typically related to things outside a pers and as life stress increases overall stress typically increases as well. External locus of control has been associated with increased depression and anxiety (Johnson & Sarason, 1978). Likewise it is expected that a mother s perceptions of a more behaviorally disrupted child are associated with an increased level of state anxiety. Also as state anxiety increases which was expected. sense of competence and level of stress. There was a positive relationship observed between T rait A nxiety and the PSI as well as some of its sub domains including Child Domain, Parent Domain, P arent I solation R ole R estriction D epression S pousal S upport C hild A daptability P arent C ompetence and P arent H ealth New m others who fe lt more anxiety on a regular basis also felt greater overall parenting stress, felt their child displayed qualities that made parenting difficult and created stress, and felt more overwhelmed or inadequate to the task of parenting. The findings also indicated that new mothers who felt more anxiety on a regular basis also felt their child was unable to adapt (making parenting more difficult), felt that they were lacking in child care skills, felt a lack of

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136 acceptance and criticism from other parents, felt more socially and emotionally isolated, felt less healthy, felt their parental role was restricting their freedom, and felt controlled re depression, and felt they had poor emotional and active spousal support. In short, a mother he r infant s temperament can be a source of stress (Ventura & Stevenson, 1986). These results are consistent with the literature and indicate th at as t rait anxiety her in ability to adjust to changes. The perception of problems with parenting functioning also increases. Feelings of parental competence decrease, feelings of isolation increase, deterioration in parent health increases, feelings of freedom restriction increase as do feelings of depression and an increased sense of poor spousal support. Ventura, ( 1987) concluded that the birth of a child could leave parents feeling frustrated and resentful of traditional roles as well as experiencing changes in self image and feelings toward spouse. The PSI scale was observed to have positive relationships with S tate A nxiety T rait A nxiety and the PSOC subscales of E fficacy and S atisfaction In contrast, t here was a negative relationship between the PSI and the IC New mothers experiencing high situational stress also felt more overall stress towards parenting. Likewise, new m others who fe lt more anxiety on a regular basis also felt more overall parenting stress. New Mothers who felt more parenting stress also felt less infant care efficacy. New mothers who felt more parenting stress also felt more competent in their problem solving ability and capability in the parent ing role, and felt less parenting frustration and anxiety. Perhaps stress acts as a call to action.

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137 The relationship with efficacy and satisfaction was not consistent with the literature. It would be expected that parenting satisfaction and efficacy would decrease as mother s stress related to parenting increases. Low self efficacy is known to generate feelings of stress and anxiety (Pajares, 2002). Crnic and Greenberg (1990) found that minor parenting hassles were related to decrease s in parenting satisfa ction. The rest of the results were as expected. Luecken ( 1998 ) found that insecure people are more prone to stress. Sepa, Frodi & Ludvigsson ( 2004 ) found a connection between lack of confidence and lack of support and increased parenting stress. The Infan t Care scale (IC) was observed to have no relationship with exercise or T rait A nxiety. It was observed to have a negative relationship with S tate A nxiety PSI T otal and PSOC T otal as well as the PSOC subscales E fficacy and S atisfaction. New mothers who fel t more situational anxiety felt less confident in their childcare skills and less parenting stress. Participants who reported high infant care competence also reported low parenting self esteem, low parenting efficacy and low parenting satisfaction indicat ing new mothers who felt more infant care efficacy also felt poor parenting self esteem, poor problem solving ability and capability in their parenting role and more parenting frustration and anxiety. These findings contradict what was expect ed especially since IC and PSOC are both measuring perceived competence. This is not consistent with the literature. Teti and Gelfand (1991) found that maternal self efficacy was positively associated with parenting competence. In contrast, negative relationships were noted on the following PSI sub scales: Parent, Child, C hild A daptability P arent C ompetence, Parent Role Restriction and Parent Depression. These findings indicated new mothers who felt greater infant care

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138 efficacy also felt less overwhelmed and more adeq uate at the task of parenting and experienced their child as a low source of stress. They also felt they had practical child care skills and were accepted by other parents. New mothers who expressed greater infant care efficacy also reported feeling their child adapted to changes well, felt less frustrated and restricted and experienced less depression. These results are all consistent with the literature. Froman and Owen (1990) found that the stronger the sense of confidence a mother had prior to leaving t he hospital, the more likely they were to approach and succeed at care taking tasks. A positive relationship was observed between the IC and the PSI sub scales of L ife S tress, C hild D istractibility or H yperactivity, C hild R einforce P arent C hild Demandingn ess, Child Acceptability, and Parent Attachment and Parent Health. New mothers who felt greater infant care efficacy also felt they had more life stress and that their child displayed behaviors associated with ADHD, felt their child was not a source of pos itive reinforcement and placed many demands on them. Perhaps mothers feel if their child is demanding they can demonstrate competence by responding to these demands. New mothers also felt their child did not possess traits that met their expectations of wh at they wanted, and they did not have an emotional closeness to their their health had deteriorated. These results are all in conflict with what would be expected from the literature (Froman and Owen, 1990). It would be expected that a mother who has stronger beliefs about her parenting competence would feel closer to her child and see them as less difficult and more rewarding.

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139 There was a positive relationship obs erved between the PSOC scale and exercise. There was also a positive relationship observed with the PSI subscales of Child, Parent and Child Adaptability. New mothers who expressed greater parenting self esteem also reported engaging in more exercise. It w as also found that new mothers who felt more parenting self esteem also reported their children were difficult and caused stress, and also reported feeling overwhelmed and inadequate at parenting. Participants who reported high parenting self esteem also r eported poor child adaptability. New mothers who felt more parenting self esteem also reported feeling their child had difficulty adjusting to their environment. These results are not consistent with the literature. Low self efficacy is known to generate f eelings of stress and anxiety (Pajares, 2002). It would be expected to find that increased feelings of competence would be associated with decreased feelings of child difficulty. The result for the PSOC and exercise is as expected as exercise is known to b e a stress reliever and often increased stress was related to low perception of parenting ability. In contrast, there was a negative relationship observed between PSOC and IC New mothers who felt greater parenting self efficacy also reported feeling poor infant care efficacy. This result is not as expected as they are both reportedly measuring perceived parental competence and should have a direct relationship. There was als o a negative relationship observed between the PSOC and the following sub domains of the PSI: Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforce Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Isolation, Parent Attachment and Par ent Health. New mothers who felt more parenting self esteem also

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140 reported having fewer life stressors out of their control, feeling their child exhibited fewer behaviors associated with ADHD, experienced their child as a source of positive reinforcement, a nd felt their child did not place too many demands on them. They also felt their child possessed traits that met their expectations. They reported feeling less socially and emotionally isolated, experienced more of an emotional closeness with their child & These findings are consistent with the literature. Luecken (1998) found that insecure people are more prone to stress. Ludvigsson (2004) found a connection between lack of co nfidence and lack of support and increased parenting stress. Exercise has long been known as a good coping mechanism for reducing stress. The finding of a positive relationship between exercise and parenting competence supports the notion that exercise imp may therefore increase their maternal self confidence. The absence of a relationship of the concept being assessed. For example, the infant care measurement was more competence which assesses a more expressive element of mothering. The results efficacy becaus her abilities, which then affects how she performs a parenting task. Emotional states component of self efficacy. Low self efficacy is t hought to generate feelings of anxiety and stress due to beliefs a situation is harder than it is, while high self efficacy generates calmer feelings and the belief that a situation is manageable (Pajares, 2002).

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141 In general, the results point to the conclu sion that improving physical and emotional well efficacy. Research Question 2: Is there a r elationship between b ody i mage and levels of p erceived s tress and p erceived c ompetence? Th e question asked for this study stress and competence. Similar to exercise, body image was believed to be a factor that might influence self esteem and self confidence, and therefore maternal self confidence (Wells & Marwell, 1976). This researcher wanted to determine if there was a confidence. It was believed that women who had a more positive body image and self worth would perceive themselves as stronger and healthier and therefore have less stress and more maternal self confidence. The answer to this question was obtained by examining the relationship between and perceived competence. There was a positive relationship observed between the Physical Self Perception Profile (PSPP) body subscale and PSPP Self Worth subscale and the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) Total, as well as the PSOC Satisfaction subsca le. Participants who reported high physical self esteem also reported high self worth, more parenting self esteem and more parenting satisfaction. New mothers who have a good body image may also have better self esteem or self concept which gives them a be tter global view of their self worth. If they feel better about themselves they may feel more confident in general. This may lead to feeling more confident as a parent and therefore having higher parenting self esteem. This may also lead to feeling more co nfident as a parent and less anxious

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142 and frustrated, therefore enjoying the experience of parenting more and having more satisfaction. The results were consistent with the literature indicating that the higher a er their general or global sense of self worth and overall parenting self esteem and satisfaction. Fox and Corbin (1989) hypothesized a three tier hierarchy of self perceptions in which body image was a sub domain of physical self worth which in turn fed i esteem. Teti and Gelfand (1991) found that maternal self efficacy was positively associated with parenting competence. In contrast, there was a negative relationship observed between the PSPP Body subscale and State Anxie ty, Trait Anxiety, Parenting Stress Index (PSI) Total and the PSI subscales Parent, Parent Isolation, Parent Health, Child, Child Reinforces Parent, and Parent Depression. Participants who reported high physical self esteem also reported low state anxiety and trait anxiety, lower parenting stress scores, low child related parenting stress and low parent related stress. New mothers who have a good body image may also have better self esteem or self concept. If they feel more comfortable and less anxious with their bodies then they may experience less anxiety in various situations and on a regular basis. They may also experience less parenting related stress, and feel their child has qualities that make it easy to parent. They also reported feeling less stress and not as frustrated or inadequate at parenting. Likewise, new mothers who possess a good body image and feel more comfortable and less anxious with their bodies may feel less stressed, and experience their child as a more positive reinforcement. They re ported feeling less self conscious and being more socially involved, and therefore experienced less social and emotional isolation. This

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143 may also have led them to feel and view themselves as healthier and therefore less likely to feel depressed. These resu lts were consistent with the literature. Low self efficacy is known to generate feelings of stress and anxiety (Pajares, 2002). Tessier et al (1992) found that increased stress was related to low perception of parenting ability. The PSPP Physical Self wor th (PSW) subscale was observed to have a positive relationship with the PSOC Total as well as the PSOC Satisfaction subscale. New mothers who reported having high self worth also reported having higher self esteem or self concept scores. If new mothers fee l better about themselves, they may feel more confident in general. This may lead to feeling more confident as a parent and therefore having higher parenting self esteem, feeling more confident as a parent and less anxious and frustrated, therefore enjoyin g the experience of parenting more and finding more satisfaction. These results were consistent with the literature. Fox and Corbin (1989) hypothesized that body image was a sub domain of physical self worth which in lf esteem. Teti and Gelfand (1991) found that maternal self efficacy was positively associated with parenting competence. There was a negative relationship observed between PSPP PSW and State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety, PSI Total and the PSI subscales of Par ent, Parent Isolation, Parent Health, Child Reinforces Parent, Parent Competence, Parent Attachment, Parent Role Restriction, Parent Depression and Spouse. New mothers who reported having high self worth may also have a better self esteem or self concept. If they feel more comfortable and less anxious with their bodies then they may experience less anxiety in various situations. They may also have less anxiety on a regular basis and

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144 may experience less parenting related stress and not feel as frustrated or inadequate at parenting and experience their child as a more positive reinforcement. Likewise, if new mothers feel better about themselves, they may feel more confident and less stressed in general. This may lead to feeling more competent as a parent, more emotionally close Interactions with their child are viewed as more positive and successful. The feeling of emotional closeness may also allow mothers to not view themselves as being controlled needs and therefore feel they receive emotional and active support from their partner. Results also indicated that new mothers who have high measures of s elf worth may also have better self esteem or self concept. If they feel more comfortable and less anxious with their bodies then they may also feel less self conscious and be more social, therefore feeling less social and emotional isolation. They may als o feel and view themselves as healthier and may be less likely to feel depressed. These results were consistent with the literature. As noted above, low self efficacy is known to generate feelings of stress and anxiety (Pajares, 2002). Also Tessier et al (1992) suggest that increased stress was related to low perception of parenting ability, while decreased stress might generate a higher perception of parenting ability. It is important to note the sample was predominately white middle class women who may b e more susceptible to messages about health and body image. A more diverse sample may have yielded different results. Body image may not just be an as a woman in a give

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145 body during pregnancy and her expectations or perceptions of returning to her pre pregnancy shape. In summary, improving physical and emotional well being has been suggested to improve sel f efficacy. Self beliefs impact the choices we make and the way we choose to act (Pajares, 2002). Perhaps the mechanism behind this is the affective self evaluation and the adjustment of personal standards as mentioned by Simon (1995). Poor body image has been linked to many emotional sates and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, eating disorders and more. It affects how an individual feels both mentally and physically. The observed relationship between body image and stress in this s tudy lends further support to this conclusion. The results also health. If new mothers have a good body image, they may perceive themselves as stronger and healthier which may increase their maternal self confidence. It is important being and physical satisfaction may give her the perception of being more compete nt, however, the perception of competence does not being or health status (cognitive distortions of body image). The failure to find a relationship between body image and infant care compet ence may be a consequence of the concepts being assessed. For example, the infant care measurement was more instrumental in nature competence which is a more expressive concept.

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146 Research Question 3: Is th ere a r elationship between a vailable s upport and levels of p erceived s tress and p erceived c ompetence? The question asked for this study was is ptions about available support associated with her levels of perceived stress and competence ? Su pport from family, friends, spouse, community and support groups are potential ways of receiving feedback about parenting as well as vicarious learning. Lack of resources and efficacy. Adeq uate social support has been repeatedly associated with better transitioning to parenthood. Social support has also been shown to have a positive effect on psychological well being (Kessler and Mcleod, 1985). Cohen (1988) suggests that social support may d ecrease the perception of events as stressful or increase self efficacy. Social support acts as a mediator against stress (Belsky and Rovine, 1984). This study looked at how d feelings of maternal competence. The answer to this question was obtained by examining the relationship between competence. There was a positive relationship observed between Perceived Adequacy of Resources (PAR) total and Personal Resource Questionnaire (PRQ) and Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) Total and the PSOC Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales. New mothers who perceive their resources to be adequate reported feeling more confident and supported, and therefore had good overall parenting self esteem, felt more competent in their problem solving ability in the parent role, as well as less frustration and anxiety in their parenting role. New mothers who perceived their

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147 resources to be adequate reported feeling more confident and supported, and less stressed. These findings were consistent with the literature. Fleming, Flett, Ruble and family were a contributing factor in feelings of maternal adequacy and parenting. Crnic et al. (1983) suggested that support quantity and quality were important to the transition to motherhood. There was a negative relationship observed between the PAR To tal and State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety, IC and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Parent Isolation, Parent Attachment, Parent Health and Spouse. New mothers who perceived ad equate resources reported feeling more confident and supported and, therefore, reported lower levels of situational anxiety and overall anxiety. They also tended to perceive themselves as having more control in most situations, making them less stressful. Similarly, new mothers who perceived themselves as having adequate resources tended to feel more confident and supported, and with less stress. For these women, their children were perceived as having fewer ADHD qualities, and being less demanding, which a llowed them greater opportunities to experience their child as a source of positive reinforcement. Further, new mothers who perceived their resources to be adequate tended to feel more confident, supported by and connected to others, and less isolated. For these women, the feelings of connectedness with others were associated with stronger feelings of connectedness to their child, which allowed them to understand their needs more accurately. New mothers who perceived their resources to be adequate also repo rted feeling more confident and supported, especially by their

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148 spouse. Yet, interestingly, they self reported being less knowledgeable about infant care giving. The results were consistent with the literature. Social support is seen as a potential buffer for stress according to Weinert and Brandt (1987). Availability of social networks of friends, family and spouse has been found to be associated with decreased parenting stress (Belsky, 1984). Crnic et al. (1983) concluded that social support from multiple resources is important in developing positive parenting attitudes and mothers with larger support networks were more sensitive towards their infants. The results also indic resources increased, their sense of efficacy to provide care for their child decreased. This finding was not expected as feelings of competence would be expected to increase with the availabili ty of more resources. There was a negative relationship observed between the PRQ and IC, the PAR Physical Environment subscale and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Chil d Acceptability, Parent Attachment and Parent Health. New mothers who perceived they had good social support also reported feeling less life related stress due to events beyond their control. They also reported feeling their child displayed fewer qualities associated with ADHD. New mothers who reported having good social support also indicated that their new born placed fewer demands on them. They also reported feeling low infant care related self efficacy and feeling they had inadequate physical environmen t resources.

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149 unexpected, however, it would not be expected to impact social support. This may be the function of a more general trend of the family growing, thus the need for space increasing as well. New mothers who perceived that they had good social support also reported experiencing their child as a source of positive reinforcement, that their child was matching their expectations, and that they felt emotionally close to their ch ild. These results were consistent with the literature as social support has been suggested to be a potential buffer for life stress (Weinert and Brandt, 1987). Goldstein, Diener and Mangelsdorf (1996) found that mothers with larger support networks were m ore sensitive towards their infants. There was a positive relationship observed between the PRQ and State Anxiety, PAR Total and PAR subscales of Physical Health, Interpersonal Resources, Knowledge Skill Resources, PSOC Total and PSOC Efficacy and Satisfa ction subscales, PSI Total and PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability and Parent Competence. New mothers who perceived they had good social support also reported feeling more situational anxiety as well as feeling more overall parenting stress. Further, they believed that their child displayed behaviors that made parenting difficult, which led them to feel more overwhelmed and inadequate to the task of parenting. New mothers who perceived they had good social support also reported believing that their child had difficulty adapting to changes, which made parenting difficult. These women also reported feeling that they lacked the practical skills of parenting, lacked reinforcement and acceptance from others, and, instead, were more criticized by ot hers. They also reported feeling their parental role restricted their freedom.

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150 There is a noticeable contradiction in the relationships between the PRQ and the PAR. This contradiction may be explained in recognizing that the PAR is an instrumental measure of resources, while the PRQ is an expressive measure of resources. The contradiction may also be explained in how the two measures assess PRQ looks at their perceived pe perceive there are adequate resources available and yet do not perceive those resources to be available or useful to them personally. New mothers who reported having good social support also reported that they had adequate health, and adequate interpersonal and knowledge skill resources at their disposal. They also reported having good parenting self esteem. They also saw themselves as competent and good at problem solving in the parenting role. As a result they felt satisfied in their role as a parent, experienced fewer frustrations, and less anxiety. It is clear from these findings that if a new mother has good support, life is easier. The findings were as expected. Fleming, Flett, Ruble and Shaul (1988) noted factor in feelings of maternal adequacy and parenting. On the other hand, it was not consistent with the literature to find that as perception of social support i ncreases, state anxiety and parenting stress increases along with the perception that the child possesses qualities that make parenting difficult. These qualities include the inability of the infant to adjust to changes, which may lead to a decrease in a p competence. It would be expected to see these qualities decrease with the increase in perceived social support because support has been suggested to be a potential buffer

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151 for stress (Gore, 1985). Further, the presence of support is th ought to help new mothers by improving feelings of personal control, positive affect and well being (Norbeck and Anderson, 1989). T he sample of participants was one that was older, highly educated and mostly middle class Caucasian A more diverse sample m ay have yielded different results. Specifically, the characteristics of the sample make it difficult to generalize the results to the wider population because the sample may have access to more resources and supportive systems that are being assessed by th ese measures such as environmental, financial, physical and interpersonal resources. This sample may also be subject to certain social expectations of parenting a more diverse sample may not be subject to. The differences in what the two measures for perce ived support found may be the result of the constructs that were assessed. For example, the Perceived Resource Questionnaire (PRQ) is a measure that focuses on more expressive elements of mothering, while the Perceived Adequacy of Resources questionnaire f ocuses primarily on instrumental elements, with one expressive subscale. Likewise, the Infant Care survey (IC) is a measure of instrumental parenting, while the Parenting Sense of Competence scale seems to be a more expressive measure of parenting. This hy pothesis was not accepted. Research Question 4: Is there a d ifference between w orking and n on w orking new mothers, levels of p erceived s tress and p erceived c ompetence? return t o work affect her levels of perceived stress and competence? The literature shows that being a working mother can be stressful and anxiety producing and can

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152 affect self efficacy. When a new mother has to return to work and hand the responsibility of caring for her child over to someone else, or when she feels her time is being divided and she is not able to give enough time to her child, she may begin to experience feelings of poor self confidence in her ability as a mother. As maternal self esteem decrease s, stress and anxiety increase which can have a significant effect on self efficacy. Brazelton (1986) suggests that mothers who must return to work protect themselves from too strong an attachment to their new born child in anticipation of the pain of havi ng to separate from the child. He also suggested that in instances when a mother must return to work in the middle of the bonding period she may not develop the same since of competence with her baby as mothers who do not return to work. This study looked at how work choices might impact perceived stress and competence. The answer to this question was obtained by examining the differences between working and non working mothers and their self report of perceived stress and competence. No differences were fo und between working and non working mothers, and the hypothesis was accepted. These results were not consistent with the literature. These inconsistent results may be linked to a variety of reasons. For example, it may be that the concept of work as it wa s measured was not a stable one. Participants were asked about their plans to work before they answered any of the items in the study. Because participants initiated their participation in the study before the birth of their children, ideal responses may n ot changed after the birth of their infants, the validity of some of the stress and competence measures may be questionable. A second explanation is linked to the fact

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153 t efficacy can be affected by experiences and is subject to engage in affective self evaluation and adjust their personal standards accordingly ( Simon, 1995). Because participants completed surveys only one time, including the item that asked about their plans to return to work, it is possible that the results do not ently, it may be that both work and self efficacy are not stable concepts for mothers with newborns. A more diverse sample may have yielded different results. Middle class white women may have more resources available to them and access to more choices wh en it comes to making the decision to return to work or not. More available support may allow them to leave children with a trusted family member or friend, thus decreasing anxiety. Financial resources may allow them the ability to stay home instead of ret urning to work. It is also possible that the values placed on work differs. Specifically, white middle class women may view work as an important part of their status and role as a woman which may alter the feelings they experience about returning to work v ersus staying home with their child. Research Question 5: Is there a d ifference between p re and p ost n atal c hildcare e ducation, and levels of p erceived s tress and p erceived c ompetence in new mothers? The question asked for this study was, how might pre nat al or post natal childcare perceived stress and competence? Education level is one of many variables believed to

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154 affect maternal self esteem (Shea and Tronick, 1988) The que stion asked for this study was how might education level affect perceived stress. Bandura (1977) identifies self of an action. It has been noted by Pajares (2002) that what an individual believes and what is real are not always congruent. Therefore outcomes are often better predicted based on beliefs rather than knowledge and skills. Thus, self efficacy not only helps to determine how individuals will apply their kn owledge, but is itself a function of how much knowledge and skill they have. Low self efficacy is known to generate feelings of anxiety and stress (Pajares, 2002). This study sought to examine how childcare education either pre natal, post natal, or both m ight impact perceived stress and perceived competence. The answer to this question was obtained by examining the differences between a or post natal child care education, and their perceived stress and competence. In reviewing a summary of the differences between a or post natal childcare education, no differences were found. The hypothesis was accepted. As was the case with the previous question, the results were not con sistent with efficacy and increase their perceived maternal competence, thereby creating a decrease in levels of stress. Thus, the finding of no differences was not a s expected. As than average. Perhaps they already had a level of general childcare knowledge that affected the results. It is also possible that because of their higher ed ucation levels and

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155 socio economic status, they had better knowledge, and easier access to available support resources, which, in turn affected their levels of stress and overall competence. It is also possible they were more accustomed to and better able t o handle stress because of their status and education. It is also possible that the prospect of having to return to work was not an issue because of the availability of sufficient financial resources. Research Question 6: Are p erceived level of c ompetence and level of s tress ability to c ope? The question asked for this study was whether a new with the demands of her new role was associated with her perceived maternal competence and overall stress It coul d also be asked : how are perceived levels of maternal competence correlated with ? House (1981) said that coping responses to stress are behavioral and serve to alter the nature of the situation, or they are defensive and function to alter the perception of the situation. Aldwin and Reverson (1987) noted that it was not clear whether or not poor coping is a cause or a result of poor psychological outcomes. Aldwin and Reverson (1987) noted that there were two ways in which coping is associated with psychological health. The main effect model suggests that coping affects well being regardless of the type or severity of the stressor. The interaction model suggests that coping moderates stress, dependent on the type and severity of the stressor. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) said coping was a response to perceived stress, and that the stress might be less important to mental health than how it is perceived and coped with. Pearlin and Schooler (1978) suggest ed that coping efficacy should not be based solely on whether or not the coping mechanism solves the

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156 problem, but also on how well it prevents the problem from causing emotional stress. The potential relationships between maternal competence, self efficacy and coping skills are complex. It is conceivable that if a mother perceives a stressful situation and has poor coping skills, her maternal competence and self efficacy could be negatively impacted. If a mother has good coping skills and perceives a stressful situation her maternal compet ence and self efficacy could be positively impacted. Likewise, if a mother has poor maternal competence and or self efficacy it may impact her coping efficacy and she may perceive a situation as stressful. The answer to this question was obtained by examin ing the relationship between coping, perceived stress and perceived competence. There was a positive relationship between Task Coping and Emotional Coping, Affect Coping, IC, and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Chi ld Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Attachment and Cognitive Coping. Task coping is comprised of active coping or taking steps to try to remove or get around stressors, planning or thinking about how to cope with stressor s, and suppressing or putting other things aside in order to deal with stressors. New mothers who reported using task coping related strategies such as planning, suppression of distracters and active steps to remove or decrease stressors also reported usin g emotional coping strategies such as seeking information, advice and assistance from others, getting moral support, sympathy and understanding, and focusing on their stressor and then venting their feelings. They also reported using affective avoidance r elated coping tactics such as giving up efforts to deal with the stressor, mentally distracting themselves from the stressor, refusing to believe the stressor exists, taking steps to

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157 manage the distressing emotions rather than stressor, accepting the stres sful situation, waiting until an appropriate time to act in regards to the stressor, taking steps to manage the distressing emotions rather than stressor, accepting the stressful situation, and waiting until an appropriate time to act in regards to the str essor. They also reported they had more life stress and felt they did not experience their child as a source of positive reinforcement. They felt their child placed many demands on them and possessed more traits that did not match their expectations. A chi ld is not a task so they may not meet the expectations of someone who is task oriented and therefore be perceived as more demanding. They reported feeling less emotionally close, less able acy. They also reported feeling their child displayed behaviors associated with ADHD. This finding was not consistent with the literature. Task coping is comprised of active coping or taking steps to try to remove or get around stressors, planning or think ing about how to cope with stressors, and suppressing or putting other things aside in order to deal with stressors. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) noted that when instrumental action was used as a coping strategy, an increase in stress could occur while not i ncreasing symptoms of distress. Problem focused coping skills were found to have an interactive effect between coping and efficacy, and overall stress (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984). Pearlin and Schooler (1978) noted that even when a stress source is not elim inated it may be buffered by controlling the meaning of a problem. Task coping may be more likely to appear in someone who is a concrete thinker and more practiced and skillful at problem solving. Therefore an increase in infant care efficacy would be expe cted. It is also not unexpected that these people might have more life stressors

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158 which are independent variables on their own, but perhaps the increase in life stressors has made these individuals better problem solvers. Perhaps being such good problem sol vers and concrete thinkers affects their ability to connect more emotionally and perceive less attachment, less positive reinforcement, increased demands and distractibility, and perceive that the child does not meet parental expectations. People who are h igh in task coping are also more likely to be high in the other areas of coping. There was a negative relationship observed between Task Coping and State Anxiety, PSI Total, PSOC Total and both the Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales and the PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability, Parent Competence, Parent Role Restriction, Parent Depression and Trait Anxiety. New mothers who reported using task coping skills such as planning, suppression of distracters and taking active steps to remove or decre ase stressors also reported feeling less anxiety in stressful situations and in overall daily situations, and felt less overall parenting stress. They also felt their children did not display qualities that made parenting difficult, felt less overwhelmed a nd more adequate at the task of parenting, and felt their child adjusted easily to changes in the environment. New mothers who reported increased task coping also reported feeling more competent as parents, feeling their parental role was less restricting of their freedom and reported feeling less depressed. They also reported feeling lower parenting self esteem, less competent in their problem solving ability, and their capability in the parenting role. They also reported feeling more frustration and anxie ty. These results are as expected given that task coping is an overall healthy coping mechanism and would be expected to help individuals cope better with stressful circumstances. Pearlin and Schooler (1978) found that having one good coping

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159 mechanism is n ot as important as having a variety of coping resources to pull from. It was unexpected that parenting self esteem would decrease with task coping, especially There was a positive relatio nship observed between Emotional Coping and Task Coping, Affective or Avoidance Coping IC and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability and Parent Attachmen t. Emotional Coping is comprised of seeking information, advice and assistance from others, getting moral support, sympathy and understanding, and focusing on their stressors and then venting their feelings. New mothers who reported using emotional coping skills also reported using affective avoidance skills such as giving up efforts to deal with stressors, mentally distracting themselves from stressors and refusing to believe the stressor exists. They also reported feeling more infant care self efficacy. Similarly, participants who reported high emotional coping also reported increased life stress, increased ADHD behaviors in their child, lower positive child reinforcement, lower child acceptability, and experienced the child as more demanding, resulting i n feelings of decreased attachment. These respondents also reported a greater number of life stressors and felt their children showed more behaviors associated with ADHD. They tended to not experience their child as a source of positive reinforcement. The mothers tended to not feel their child their child placed many demands on them, although they did experience a sense of emotional closeness with their child. If a mot her is over reliant on others as a coping mechanism, it may interfere with her attachment to her child. The increase in infant care

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160 efficacy is as expected while the increased perception of difficult behavior, demandingness, decreased parental attachment a nd perception of low positive enforcement is not consistent with the literature. Social support affects maternal attitudes and behavior (Crockenberg, 1981) and support from multiple sources is important in developing positive parenting attitudes and parent child interactions (Crinic et al., 1983). There was a negative relationship between Emotional Coping and State Anxiety, PSI Total and the PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability, Parent Competence, Parental Role Restriction and Depression, and PSOC Total and the Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales. New mothers who know how to take care of themselves emotionally are also less anxious and stressed. New mothers who reported using emotional coping skills such as seeking information, advice and assis tance from others, getting moral support, sympathy and understanding, and focusing on their stressor and then venting their feelings, also reported their child adapted to environmental changes well, and felt they had good practical child care skills. They also felt they were reinforced and had acceptance, their freedom was not restricted or noted that participants who reported a preference for using emotional coping als o reported lower levels of parenting self esteem, parenting efficacy and parenting satisfaction. This finding indicated that new mothers who tend to rely on emotional coping also reported having poor parenting self esteem, and a poor sense of competence. I n addition, they lacked confidence in their problem solving skills and their

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161 ability to function successfully in a parenting role. The net result is that they tended to feel greater levels of frustration and anxiety in their role as a parent. These findin gs are consistent with the literature. Emotional coping is a functional form of coping where one engages in such things as advice seeking, looking for moral support and understanding, focusing on feelings of distress and venting them. Thus, it would be exp ected that emotional coping would be useful in decreasing the effects of stress. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) found that emotion focused coping skills had direct effects on stress. Support acts as a mediator against stress (Belsky and Rovine, 1984), and thos e who have a lot of social contact prior to having a child will continue to engage in social contact after having a child (Miller and Myers Walls, 1983). Parenting self esteem also decreases in both satisfaction and efficacy. This finding was not consisten t with the literature. A positive relationship was observed between Affective or Avoidance Coping and Task Coping, Emotional Coping, Trait Anxiety, IC and the PSI subscales of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Ch ild Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Isolation, Parent Attachment and Parent Health. New mothers who reported giving up efforts to deal with stressors, mentally distracting themselves from stressors, and refusing to believe stressors exist, also reported greater anxiety on a regular basis but, ironically, felt greater infant care task related efficacy. New mothers who reported greater use Affective or Avoidance coping also reported more overall life stressors, felt their child displayed more behav iors associated with ADHD, reported their child was not a source of positive reinforcement, experienced their child as placing more demands on them and felt their child did not possess traits that

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162 matched their expectations. These mothers also reported fee ling more isolated, less emotionally close to their child and unable to understand their needs and feeling their health had declined. Dunn et al (2001) found that Affective or Avoidance coping was associated with increased depression, isolation and marital difficulties. There was a negative relationship between Affective or Avoidance coping and PSI Total and the PSI subscales of Child, Parent, Child Adaptability and Parent Competence, PSOC Total, and the Satisfaction and Efficacy subscales. New mothers who reported giving up efforts to deal with stressors, mentally distracting themselves from stressors or refusing to believe the stressors existed also reported lower overall parenting related stress, felt their child did not possess characteristics that made parenting difficult, and felt less overwhelmed by parenting. Perhaps being in denial of stressful events means a new mother has nothing to be stressed about. For example, participants who reported higher affective or avoidance coping scores also reported t heir child was more adaptable, and reported increased parent competence. They felt their child adjusted well to changes in the environment and they felt more competent as a parent. Participants who reported high affective coping also reported decreased par enting self esteem, parenting self efficacy and parent satisfaction meaning new mothers felt less self esteem as a parent, less competent in their problem solving abilities as a parent and more frustrated and anxious in the parenting role. This finding ind icates avoidance may be good for the short term, but does not serve new mothers well globally or long term. This finding was consistent with the literature that as trait anxiety, life stress, and perceived disruptive and demanding behaviors increase, pare nting self esteem

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163 decreases. Affective or Avoidance coping is a dysfunctional coping mechanism, so it often includes helplessness, mental disengagement and denial. It was not consistent with the literature that infant care efficacy would increase and overall parenting stress would decrease. Aldwin and Revenson (1987) suggested that it was not clear whether or not poor coping is a cause or a result of poor psychologic al outcomes. A negative relationship was observed between Cognitive C oping and State A nxiety, Task C oping, Trait A nxiety and the P arent H ealth subscale of the PSI. New mothers who reported taking steps to manage the distressing emotions rather than the str essor, accepting the stressful situation, and waiting until an appropriate time to re act to the stressor, also reported feeling lower levels of situational anxiety and l ower overall anxiety in their everyday lives, and reporting they felt they were in bett er health. It w as consistent with the literature that state and trait anxiety would decrease as cognitive coping is a positive coping mechanism. Cognitive coping includes such techniques as managing the distressed emotions, accepting the reality of the str essful situation and waiting until the appropriate time to react to the stressor. Pearlin and Schooler (1978) suggest that the critical issue is not whether the coping mechanism solves the problem, but how well it prevents the problem from causing emotiona l stress. Therefore it would be reasonable to see little or no relationship between cognitive coping and other areas of stress and competence, as it is a coping mechanism that does not deal with the stressor immediately, if at all. Instead, the expected o utcome would be to see some positive stress relief, but not as much as with more functional coping mechanisms such as task or emotional coping.

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164 In summary, more task coping seems to equate with less stress. New m others who know how to take care of themsel ves emotionally are less stressed, more satisfied and less overwhelmed The results of the observed relationship s between overall coping and overall stress w ere consistent with the literature. As participants overall coping skills increased, their perceiv ed stress decreased. It was interesting that as task, emotional and affective coping increased infant care competency also increased. This result was expected. The unexpected result, however, was that parenting competence decreased. This result may be a pr oduct of the instrumental nature of the infant care competency assessment versus the expressive nature of the parental competence assessment It is also important to note that cognitive and task oriented coping are very instrumental in nature, while emotio nal and affective coping are very expressive in nature. As the definition of self efficacy by Pajares (2002) is very instrumental in nature it makes sense that the more task related measure of competence shows an improvement. It is unclear as to why the m ore expressive component of parental competence had an inverse relationship with coping. T he nature of the stressor may affect maternal self confidence and how they cope with stress. State versus trait anxiety may play a role as mothers will have a certain amount of stress that is just indicative of who they are, and then the situational stress of motherhood occurs on top of that Again, it is important to remember that t he sample for this study was a well educated, middle class group of women who may have developed better coping skills than average and may already have good coping mechanisms in place for dealing with task stressors, but maybe are not as well equipped for the emotional stressors. It is possible that the coping preferences of this sample may differ from that of more

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165 mainstream women. A more diverse sample may have yielded different results. It is clear there is still much to be learned about the nature of these relationships. or her child influence her perceived level of stress and competence? mother, or her child, influence her perceived level of stress and competence? Attachment Theory introduced the notion that maternal sensitivity is a determining factor emotional development (Aisnworth, Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978). Object Relations Theory (Winnicott, 1976) linked the maternal cognitive emotional state of the mother and actua l care taking behavior toward the child. If a mother is overly stressed or lacks maternal competence, could it affect her ability to attach with her child? If a mother is unable to emotionally attach to her child, does it affect her sense of maternal compe mother an indicator of how she may be able to attach to her own child? These are all issues that this study addressed. The answer to this research question was obtained by examining the re lationship and competence. There was a negative relationship observed between Attachment to Mother and Infant Care (IC) as well as the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) subsca les of Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability and Parent Attachment. New mothers who felt more attached to their own mothers also reported fewer life stressors, felt their chil d displayed fewer behaviors associated with ADHD, experienced their child as a positive

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166 reinforcement, felt their child placed fewer demands on them, felt their child possessed traits that matched their expectations and felt more emotionally close to their child. New mothers had a good role model for attachment based on their relationship with their own mother. New mothers who felt more attached to their own mothers also reported feeling less infant care efficacy. Perhaps because of their close relationship with their own mother, they do not feel they can measure up. These results are expected. Though we might expect Infant care efficacy to mother is not as easily able to separate her own care giving skills from those of her mother may help a new mother experience her newborn in a more positive way. Floran, Mikulincer & Bucholtz (1995) sugges ted that mothers are viewed as sources of responsiveness towards her children which fosters the attachment (Mangelsdorf et al. 1990). Crockenberg (1981) suggested that soc ial support affects maternal attitudes and A positive relationship was observed between Attachment to Mother and Attachment to Child, PSI total and the subscales of Child, Parent Child Adaptability and Parent Competence, and the Parenting Sense of Competency (PSOC) total as well as both the Efficacy and Satisfaction subscales. New mothers who felt more attached to their own mothers may have good attachment modeled for them and so they are better able to form attachments to their own child. New mothers also reported feeling more overall parenting stress. Perhaps the bond with their own mother increased the

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167 pressure to be a good mother. They also reported their child displayed beha viors that made it more difficult to parent and they felt more overwhelmed and inadequate at parenting. Perhaps their bond with their own mother colors how they think they should interact with their child, and it is hard to develop that expectation right a way. Likewise, new mothers also reported their children had difficulty adapting to environmental changes but they felt more competent as a parent having good childcare skills and good reinforcement. They also reported feeling they had good parenting self e steem; they felt competent in their problem solving ability in the parental role. They also felt less anxiety and frustration over parenting. Perhaps this is due to close support from their relationship with their mother. These findings were consistent wit esteem. Social support is likely (Mangelsdorf et al, 1990). The findings were not consistent with the literature that new allow for difficulty in separatin g and developing parenting independence while allowing for more outside interference. This could leave one feeling more inadequate as a parent and some of these perceived inadequacies may be placed on the child. It has also been suggested by Abidin (1995) that increased scores on the parenting domain are more common in younger parents or those with little parenting experience due to feelings of being overwhelmed and inadequate to the task of parenting.

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168 There was a negative relationship observed between Atta chment to Child and IC, and the PSI subscales Life Stress, Child Distractibility or Hyperactivity, Child Reinforces Parent, Child Demandingness, Child Acceptability, Parent Competence and Parent Attachment. Participants who felt more attached to their own child also reported having less life stress and lower child distractibility scores indicating new mothers who felt more attached to their own child also reported fewer life stressors and felt their child displayed fewer behaviors associated with ADHD. New mothers who felt more attached to their own child also reported they experienced their child as a positive reinforcement. They also felt their child placed fewer demands on them, possessed traits that matched their expectations, felt more competent as a pa rent having good childcare skills and good reinforcement, and were more emotionally close to their child. Perhaps it is because they had a good model for attachment. They also reported feeling less infant care efficacy. The decrease in IC efficacy was not consistent with the literature. This finding could be due to a sense that the closer a new mother feels to her child the more she feels self imposed pressure to do a good job parenting and is therefore more critical of her abilities as a mother. The rest of the results were consistent with the literature. Glass (1983) noted that mothers with high emotional investment are better prepared for the negative aspects of child care, and more appreciative of the positive aspects of child care. Crockenberg (1981) n oted that social support affects maternal attitudes and (1983), also suggest that multiple sources of support are important to develop positive parenting attitudes and parent child interactions.

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169 There was a positive relationship found between Attachment to Mother and State anxiety, PSI total and the subscales Child, Parent, Child Adaptability, Parent Competence, and the PSOC total, and the subscales of Efficacy and Satisfaction. New mothers who felt more attached to their own child also reported feeling more situational well being were higher and were therefore more anxious. Th ey also reported feeling greater overall parenting stress and their child displayed behaviors that made it more difficult to parent. Further, they felt more overwhelmed and inadequate at parenting. Perhaps the bond with their own child increased pressure t o be a good mother. More importance was placed on the relationship so it became more stressful. New mothers who felt more attached to their own child also reported their child had difficulty adapting to environmental changes. Participants who felt more att ached to their own child also reported more parenting self esteem, higher parenting efficacy and higher parenting satisfaction. This may indicate that new mothers who felt more attached to their own child also reported feeling they had good parenting self esteem, felt less anxiety and frustration over parenting and felt competent in their problem solving ability in the better and received a reinforcing response. Incr esteem were as expected, however the remaining results were not as expected. They could be explained again, however, by the possibility of self imposed pressure and being more critical of o notion would explain the increased stress levels. Glass (1983) suggested that mothers

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170 with poor awareness of infant cues repeatedly fail in attempts to control infant activity, whic h may decrease their self esteem and adjustment to motherhood, while those who are more aware of their infants cues with few expectations of controlling their activity and more acceptance of the situation have a more positive perception of motherhood. It i s also noted that according to Abidin (1995) a high PSI parent domain score is not unusual among young parents with little experience. This indicates feelings of being overwhelmed and inadequate at the task of parenting. It was not expected that new m her own mother is supportive, it may also allow for difficulty in separating and developing parenting independence while allowing for more outside interference. This could leave one feeling more inadequate as a parent and some of these perceived inadequacies may be placed on the child. The results also indicate that as attachment to child increases, infant care efficac y decreases. This was not expected. The decrease in infant care efficacy could be due to a sense that the closer a new mother feels to her child the more she feels a self imposed pressure to do a good job parenting and is therefore more critical of her own abilities. Self imposed pressure and being more could explain the increased stress levels. The results may also be due to the nature of the sample. The sample was predomina tely highly educated white middle class women. Perhaps their expectations and experience of attachment differs from that of other potential groups of new mothers, and leaves them feeling more stress.

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171 Research Question 8: Is there a difference between support from friends and family and perceived stress and competence? family and friends influence her perceived stress and competence. The vicarious experienc e of learning through others and social persuasion in the form of feedback from others are two ways in which self efficacy is created. Support from family, friends, community, spouse and support groups are potential ways of both receiving feedback and vica rious learning. An individual may learn from others thus increasing self efficacy while the perception of support or lack of support may increase or decrease self efficacy. Panzarine, Slater and Sharps (1995) found that adolescent mothers with symptoms of depression were less satisfied with their role as parent and reported less confidence in their parenting abilities. Fleming, Flett, Ruble and Shaul (1988) found a relationship between feelings of maternal adequacy and depression. They noted that some postp artum contributors towards feelings of maternal adequacy and parenting related to her feel ings about care taking. Cohen (1988) suggests that social support may decrease the perception of events as stressful or increase self efficacy Floran, Mikulincer & Bucholtz (1995) used Attachment Theory to examine the influence of social support. They fou nd that secure individuals were more likely to view significant others as providing high levels of support and had a stronger relationship between perception and seeking support than their insecure counterparts. They noted that partners and

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172 friends were vi ewed as sources of emotional support, fathers as sources of instrumental support, and mothers as sources of emotional and instrumental support The answer to this question was obtained by examining the differences between om friends and family, and perceived stress and competence. No differences were observed between family support and overall stress and overall competence. A difference was found between family support and support from friends Attachment to Mother, the PAR total and Interpersonal and Community subscales. New mothers who perceived high levels of family support also reported feeling more support from friends, felt a stronger attachment to their own mother, and felt they had more adequate resources, specifical ly, good interpersonal resources and good community resources. If they feel supported they may feel they have many sources to provide them needed parenting information. These results bring to question whether there are differences in support as a resu lt of perception. Does support help one recognize attachment or is it the other way around? This sample reported the perception of support. This may be the result of attachments they have, or they may not be attached and yet still perceive a supportive en vironment. This distinction is not clear and deserves further study. A difference was observed between friend support and State Anxiety, Trait Anxiety, Restriction, Depr ession and Spouse. New mothers who perceived high levels of friend support also reported feeling less situational and day to day anxiety. Perhaps because of the sense of support they feel less pressure. They also reported feeling less overall parenting rel ated stress, felt less overwhelmed and inadequate at parenting and more

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173 competent in their parenting ability. The results also indicated new mothers felt less isolated from others, less depressed and less frustrated in their attempts to keep their identity They felt their child did not restrict their freedom. They reported feeling more actively and emotionally supported by their spouse in parenting. There was a difference observed between support from friends and the PAR total and the Interpersonal an d Community subscales. New mothers who perceived high levels of friend support also reported feeling they had more adequate resources. If they felt supported they also felt they had a greater number of close relationships to provide them with any informati on needed. They also reported feeling they had good interpersonal and community resources. Participant self report indicated that as support from friends increased, overall stress decreased, however there were no reported differences with overall comp etence. These results were not consistent with the literature or with what was expected. It was expected that support from family and friends would result in differences for self efficacy and maternal competence, therefore, decreasing perceived stress and competence. It is interesting that this outcome was only found in the case of support from friends. Perhaps support from friends on both an instrumental and emotional level is perceived as less judgmental because those friends may be having similar experi ence s It may also be the case that because f amilies are at different places in their lives and although their support is seen as valuable, it may not have t he same level of significance as support from friends. It is important to remember again that t he sample of participants was one that was older, highly educated and mostly middle class Caucasians. A more diverse sample

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174 may have yielded different results. Specifically, the characteristics of the sample make it difficult to generalize the results to the wider population, because the sample may have access to more supportive systems and the value placed on those supportive systems may differ from other populations of women. Implications A variety of interesting results that have implications for counseling research, practice and education were found in this investigation. A discussion of these implications is provided in the following sections. Future Research After reviewing the analyses that were part of this investigation, it seems clear that responses are likely to vary across time. For example, assessments of self efficacy, stress, maternal self confidence, attachment, perceived support, work stressors an d other variables are not static and have the ability to change as other life factors interact with and on them. In this study no difference was found between working and non working mothers, and level of stress. The snapshot taken of these mothers may not have provided an accurate representation of the relationship. Many of the mothers completed the surveys at 2 months postpartum which is before they returned to work and encountered potential factors that might have changed their assessment of their levels of perceived stress and competence. Although a t test for differences among respondents who completed the battery of instruments early and late in the investigation indicated that there were no differences among respondents, one can only wonder how their responses might differ immediately upon returning to work? Would their stress increase? What about six months after returning to work when they have a routine

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175 established? Would they feel less stressed and more competent in their ability to juggle everyth ing after doing it for a few months? It would be valuable for future research to these factors over time to see if and how they change. A second important implication that follows from this investigation is that the assessment instruments used in this study seemed to tap into two distinct dimensions of parental knowledge instrumental and expressive. One important consequence of this difference of focus was found in the the fact that many of the results seemed to conflict with one another. An example of this is the constant discrepancies that showed up through the study between the IC Survey and the PSOC Scale. Both scales were used to measure competence, but always had opposite relationships with other variables. The IC Survey seemed to measure instrume ntal parenting while the PSOC Scale seems be a more expressive measure of parenting. This was relationship was also found between the PAR which seemed to measure instrumental support, and the PRQ which seemed to be a more expressive measure of support. In light of this fact, it would be beneficial for future research to explore this idea further to determine how the instrumental and expressive frameworks might interact with and affect the data. Another relationship that merits further examination is t he one between attachment and stress and competence. There was a generational pattern detected that might hold promise for advancing the professions understanding of support for new mothers. er own mother increased, her infant care efficacy decreased. It is possible that the closer participants perhaps relied less on their own resources. At the same time, the res ults indicated that

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176 the more attached a new mother was to her own mother, the more likely it was that she would be attached to her own child. It was noted that the Spengler & Daniels (2005) Attachment scale was strongly correlated with the PSI parent attachment subscale lending it construct validity. It may be a scale future researchers would like to include in their research. Support was found to be an important factor for new mothers. Support appears to be valued no matter where it comes from. perception of social support increased so did state anxiety and parenting stress. Could it be that a new mother can be anxious when she has support because she has others to bounce things off of, while if a new mother who lacks support just has to satisfy the responsibilities of parenting and does not have the time or opportunity to be anxious or stressed. Future research should also focus on having a more diverse population of mothers participating. T his study had a sample of primarily higher educated mothers who may be better at handling stress and may have better access to resources, or better knowledge on accessing resources. It would be important to have a more representative sample to get a more accurate picture of the relationships between the variables. It would also be important to focus on fewer variables and use multivariate methods in order to understand the relationships better. Practice It is important to understand the many factors t hat may affect new mothers and their maternal competence and self efficacy. The more caregivers and providers are able to prepare new mothers and support them, the more prepared and confident they will feel. Health care providers who are aware of the areas

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177 can support and prepare them so that they have a less stressful experience, feel like successful care givers, and have a better overall experience as they navigate the waters of becoming a new parent. In reviewing the a nalyses a pattern was found suggesting that if a new mother is an anxious person, parenting can be difficult. It may be worthwhile for caregivers to note whether or not an expectant mother is by nature an anxious person, and offer extra resources and suppo rt. A second important implication that follows from this investigation is that support is very important. Caregivers can provide support, and more importantly be aware of those nect them with local groups and resources. In looking at the data there was a question as to whether or not there are differences in actual support versus the perception of support. nterest to find a way to measure actual support being received. It is not unusual for an individual to feel attached to others and yet not feel supported, and likewise to feel they have no close attachments, when they are in fact supported by others. This idea may warrant further exploration. Another relationship that merits further attention is the importance of attachment. It is visits and not only inquire about th e health of the child, but check in with the mother and see how they are doing. Specifically, pediatricians may want to address how the mother is coping, if she has any care giving questions, and how the mother feels she is bonding with her child. If there are indications of trouble, the pediatrician is in a position to help and make appropriate referrals as well as suggest resources that may be helpful. It is

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178 important for a new mother to bond with her child and form that attachment. The relationship betwe en attachment, perceived stress and perceived competence is an important relationship to understand. If there is a relationship between self efficacy, maternal self competence and attachment and we have a better understanding of it, we are in a better posi tion to help mothers improve their relationships with their newborns. The importance of self care is another factor for practitioners to consider. New can caus e stress and other issues both mental and physical. It is important to child better. Encouraging new mothers to join social groups for exercise and play can provide str ess relief and support. This can lead to improved body image and feelings of overall heath both mentally and physically which can then improve maternal self competence and self efficacy. Clinicians may want new families to complete the COPE, PSI and P SOC to provide information on the schemas they have as to their role as a new parent. These may be good diagnostic tools for identifying topics of conversation to have with expectant first time mothers and their families. Coping is necessary and will invol ve restructuring of an (1995) affective self assessment concept of the changing schemas. Edu cation Education is a n be educated about the issues that new mothers may be facing, and learn how t o go

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179 about talking with expectant and new mothers about these issues. Knowledge is power, being more aware and educating new mothers about the issues they may face. Norma lizing the experience may reduce stress and build maternal self efficacy, not only because a new mother feels supported and less alone, but they may feel more empowered by the resources provided to them. This can begin with the Obstetrician who is caring f or a mother throughout pregnancy. Caregivers should not assume a new mother knows what comes next. New mothers may not have friends and relatives to take them step by step through the parenting process and they may not be educating themselves if they do no t know where to start. It may be important to educate a new attentive to her needs. Currently, most parent education is focused on task related issues and does not address the exp ressive issues that may come up in parenting. It is important that parents are not only educated as to the instrumental task involved in parenting, but the emotional tasks as well. In conclusion, the relationships between the factors that may influenc e new mothers and their perceived levels of stress and competence are complex. This investigation has identified some of the factors that may be important, as well as some themes that should be explored further to better understand certain factors and how they may play a evaluate and intervene if necessary to ensure that new mothers have the most successful and positive experience possible. In helping new mothers have a po sitive experience, we are hopefully enhancing the mother and child bond, and encouraging

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180 healthy relationships between the mother and child that will help the child grow and develop.

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181 APPENDIX A IRB APPROVAL

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182

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183 APPENDIX B PARTICIPANT FLYER

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184 APPENDIX C INTRODUCTION AND INSTRUCTIONS Welcome to my research website. If you are a first time mother, are between the ages of 24 35, have had a normal pregnancy with no complications and are in your third trimester or have had your first child and the child is between 2months and 8months of age then I need your help. You are being asked to take part in a research study which will examine how first time mothers cope with stress and how the combination of fitness level, support systems, career choices an d education preparation affect stress level and perception of competence. Your participation is entirely voluntary and you may withdraw at any time by contacting the principal investigator Mariah Spengler at (352)317 4084 or m1spengler@aol.com. THIS MUST B E YOUR FIRST CHILD. You will be asked to complete multiple survey questionnaires. As a mother myself I know it is asking a lot of you to sit down and complete lengthy questionnaires when you have a new baby and your time and participation are greatly appre ciated. I have tried to design the site to be as mom and time friendly as possible. Once you log on to a questionnaire you must complete that questionnaire. You may, however, log on and off between questionnaires as you need to. I hope this will make parti cipation easier by allowing you flexibility in when you have time to sit for a moment and complete a portion of the surveys. Please try to complete them all within a one week time frame from when you start. Your information will be kept confidential. You w ill use your email address to log on at which time it will be assigned a number that all of your questionnaire answers will be linked to. Your email address will be used for the sole purpose of contacting you with a reminder when it is time to complete you r next set of questionnaires. If at any time you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact me Mariah Spengler at (352)317 4084 or m1spengler@aol.com or Dr. Harry Dainels Ph.D. at (352) 392 0731 ext. 200 or the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at (352) 846 1494. Thank you again for your participation. It is my hope that this research will provide information for practitioners so that they may better understand and provide information for new mothers in order to help them experience minimal stres s and maximize their feelings of competence in caring for their child during the transition of becoming a first time mother.

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185 APPENDIX D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE

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188 APPENDIX E SURVEY INSTRUMENTS Attachment Representation Scale Instructions: Below are two scales. The first scale represents how close/connected you feel to your mother. The second scale represents how close/ connected you feel to your child.. Please move the figure which represents you and place it in the location which best describes how close you feel to your mother and your child at this time. 1: Please place the figure representing yourself in the location that best pictates/ describes how emotionally close / connected you feel with your mother at this time. 1 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------100 2: Please place the figure representing yourself in the location that best pictates/ describes how emotionally close/ connected you feel with your child at this time. 1 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------100 Thank you for your participation in answering this questionnaire openly and honestly t o the best of your ability.

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189 COPE Instructions: We are interested in how people resp o nd when they confront difficult or stressful events in their lives. There are lots of ways to try to deal with stress. This questionnaire asks you to indicate what y ou generally do and feel, when you experience stressful events. Obviously, different events bring out somewhat different responses, but think about what you do when you are under a lot of stress. Then respond to each of the following items by selecting one number for each, using the response choices listed just below. Please try to respond to each item separately in your mind from each other item Choose your answers thoughtfully, and make your answers as true FOR YOU as you can. Please answer every item. T here are no "right" or "wrong" answers, so choose the most accurate answer for YOU -not what you think "most people" would say or do. Indicate what YOU usually do when YOU experience a stressful event 1 = I usually don't do this at all 2 = I usually do t his a little bit 3 = I usually do this a medium amount 4 = I usually do this a lot 1 2 3 4 1 I try to grow as a person as a result of the experience. 2 I turn to work or other substitute activities to take my mind off things. 3 I get upset and let my emotions o ut. 4 I try to get advice from someone about what to do. 5 I concentrate my efforts on doing something about it. 6 I say to myself "this isn't real." 7 I pu t my trust in God. 8 I laugh about the situation. 9 I admit to myself that I can't deal with it, and quit trying. 10 I restrain myself from doing anything too quickly. 11 I discuss my feelings with someone. 12 I use alcohol or drugs to make myself feel better 13 I get used to the idea that it happened.

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190 14 I talk to someone to find out more about situation. 15 I keep myself from getting distracted by other thoughts or activities. 16 I daydream about things other than this. 17 I get upset, and am really aware of i t. 18 I seek God's help. 19 I make a plan of action. 20 I make jokes about it. 21 I accept that this has happened and that it can't be changed. 22 I hold off doing anything about it until the situation permits. 23 I try to get emotional support from friends or relatives. 24 I just give up trying to reach my goal. 25 I take additional action to try to get rid of the problem. 26 I try to lose myself for a while by drinking alcohol or taking drugs. 27 I refuse to believe that it happened 28 I let my self feelings out. 29 I try to see it in a different light, to make it seem more positive. 30 I talk to someone who could do something concrete about the problem. 31 I slee p more than usual. 32 I try to come up with a strategy about what to do. 33 I focus on dealing with this problem, and if necessary let other things slide a little. 34 I get sympathy and understanding from someone. 35 I drink alcohol or take drugs in order to think about it less. 36 I kid around about it. 37 I give up the attempt to get what I want. 38 I look for something good in what is happening.

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191 39 I think about how I might best handle the problem. 40 I pretend that it hasn't really happened. 41 I make sure no t to make matters worse by acting too soon. 42 I try hard to prevent other things from interfering with my efforts at dealing with this. 43 I go to movies or watch TV to think about it less. 44 I accept the reality of the fact that it happened. 45 I ask people who have had similar experiences what they did. 46 I feel a lot of emotional distress and I find myself expressing those feelings a lot. 47 I take direct action to get around the problem. 48 I try to find com fo rt in my religion. 49 I force myself to wait for the right time to do something. 50 I make fun of the situation. 51 I reduce the amount of effort I'm putting into solving the problem. 52 I talk to someone about how I feel. 53 I use alcohol or drugs to h elp me get through it. 54 I learn to live with it. 55 I put aside other activities in order to concentrate on this. 56 I think hard about what steps to take. 57 I act as though it hasn't even happened. 58 I do what has to be done, one step at a time. 59 I learn something from the experience. 60 I pray more than usual.

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192 Infant Care Survey Directions: Your responses are confidential and will help us to improve our services. There are no right or wrong answers. How much confidence do you have about doing each of the behaviors listed below? A B C D E Quite a lot < ----------------------------> Very little 1 Knowin g immunization schedules. 2 Knowing schedule for physical exam. 3 Recognizing signs of an ear infection. 4 Identifying diaper rash. 5 Knowing when to get help from the clinic, emergency room, or doctor. 6 Recognizing teething. 7 Knowing regular breathing sounds of babies. 8 Describing the tonic neck reflex. 9 Recognizing congestion. 10 Recognizing an allergic response. 11 Recognizing croup. 12 Knowing expected weight gain patterns for an infant. 13 Recognizing constipation. 14 Recognizing diarrhea. 15 Recognizing gas pains. 16 Knowing normal growth and development patterns. 17 Knowing how much to feed your baby. 18 Selecting the best formula.

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193 19 Sele cting baby foods. 20 Planning a balanced diet for your baby. 21 Knowing how to use a baby bottle. 22 Identifying safety hazards in the house. 23 Choosing safe baby toys. 24 Choosing safe baby furniture. 25 Choosing safe baby clothes. 26 Knowing which medications are dangerous. 27 Knowing safe positions for a baby after feeding. 28 Knowing what articles are safe to leave with your baby in the crib or baby sheet. 29 Treating diaper rash. 30 Burping your bab y. 31 Weighing your baby. 32 Taking your baby's temperature. 33 Changing a diaper. 34 Relieving pain from teething. 35 Relieving congestion. 36 Giving your baby a liquid medication. 37 Relieving crou p. 38 Treating constipation. 39 Treating diarrhea. 40 Relieving gas pains. 41 Establishing a sensible sleeping schedule. 42 Soothing your crying baby. 43 Breast or bottle feeding your baby.

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194 44 Spoon feeding your baby. 45 Preparing baby food. 46 Introducing new food into baby's diet. 47 Establishing a sensible feeding schedule. 48 Holding your baby. 49 Bathing your baby. 50 Using a car seat. 51 W alking while holding your baby. 52 Playing with your baby. Thank you fo r your participation in answering this questionnaire openly and honestly to the best of your ability.

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195 PSOC Instructions: Below are some statements with which some people agree and others disagree. Please read each statement and mark the response most appropriate for you at this time. There are no right or wrong answers. Please note that the answers are in a different order from previous questionnaires SD = Strongly Disagree D = Disagree DS = Disagree somewhat AS = Agree Somewhat A = Agree SA = St rongly Agree SD D DS AS A SA 1 The problems or taking care of a child are easy to solve once you know how your actions affect your child, an understanding I have acquired 2 Even though being a parent could be rewarding, I am frustrated now while my child is at his/her present age 3 I go to bed the same way I wake up in the morning, feeling I have not accomplish ed a whole lot 4 I do not k now why it is, but sometimes when I'm supposed to be in control, I feel more like the one being manipulated 5 My mother/father was better prepared to be a good mother/father than I am 6 I would make a fine model for a new mother/father to follow in order to learn what she/he would need to know in order to be a good parent 7 Being a par ent is manageable, and any problems are easily solved 8 A difficult problem in being a parent is not knowing whether you're doing a good job or a bad one 9 Sometimes I feel like I'm not getting anything done 10 I meet my own personal expectations for expertise in caring for my child 11 If anyone can find the answer to what is troubling my child, I am the one 12 My talents and interests ar e in other areas, not in being a parent

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196 13 Considering how long I've been a mother/father, I feel thoroughly familiar with this role 14 If being a mother/father of a child were only more interesting, I would be motivated to do a better job as a parent 15 I honestly believe that I have all the skills necessary to be a good mother/father to my child 16 Being a par ent makes me tense and anxious 17 Being a good mother/father is a reward in itself Thank you for your participation in answering this questionnaire openly and honestly to

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197 Parenting Stress Index Due to copyright restrictions this survey may not be copied or published, and is therefore not included.

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198 Perceived Adequacy of Resources Scale Instructions: Below are some statements with which some people agree and others disagree. Please read each statement and mark the respo nse most appropriate for you at this time. There are no right or wrong answers. 7 = Strongly Agree 6 = Agree 5 = Somewhat Agree 4 = Neutral 3 = Somewhat Disagree 2 = Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 I have enough time for leisure activities 2 I have enough financial resources to meet unexpected expenses 3 Space in my home is adequate for my needs 4 My knowledge is adequate for the work that I do 5 I have friends who can help me 6 Community facilities are adequate for my needs 7 My income covers my expenses 8 I have enough time to do the things that I want to do 9 My energy is adequate for my activities 10 Professional people in my community are helpful to me 11 My health allows me to do m y work 12 My relatives are a help to me 13 The housing I have meets my needs 14 I have neighbors I can call for help 15 I have enough education to meet my long term goals

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199 16 I have enough time for hous ehold work 17 I know how to perform household repairs 18 I know persons whose judgment I trust 19 Government programs in my community are available to help me 20 I have enough income to save money regularly 21 Space surrounding my house meets my needs 22 My health allows me to do what I want Thank you for your participation in answering this questionnaire openly and honestl y to the best of your ability.

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200 Personal Resource Questionnaire Instructions: Below are some statements with which some people agree and others disagree. Please read each statement and mark the response most appropriate for you at this time. T here are no right or wrong answers. 7 = Strongly Agree 6 = Agree 5 = Somewhat Agree 4 = Neutral 3 = Somewhat Disagree 2 = Disagree 1 = Strongly Disagree 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 There is someone I feel close to who makes me feel secure 2 I belong to a group in which I feel important 3 People let me know that I do well at work 4 I can't count on my relatives and friends to help me with problems 5 I have enough contact with the person who makes me feel special 6 I spend time with others who have the same interests t hat I do 7 There is little opportunity in my life to be giving and caring to another person 8 Others let me know that they enjoy working with me (job, committees, projects) 9 There are people who are available if I needed h elp over an extended period of time 10 There is no one to talk to about how I am feeling 11 Among my group of friends we do favors for each other 12 I have the opportunity to encourage others to develop their interests and skills 13 My family lets me know that I am important for keeping my family running 14 I have relatives or friends that will help me out even if I

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201 can't pay them back 15 When I am upset there is someone I can be with who let s me by myself 16 I feel no one has the same problems as I 17 I enjoy doing little "extra" things that make another person's life more pleasant 18 I know that others appreciate me as a person 19 There is someone who loves and cares about me 20 I have people to share social events and fun activities with 21 I am responsible for helping provide for another person's needs 22 If I need advice there is someone who would assist me to wor k out a plan for dealing with the situation 23 I have a sense of being needed by another person 24 People think that I'm not as good a friend as I should be 25 If I got sick there is someone to give me advice about caring f or myself Thank you for your participation in answering this questionnaire openly and honestly to the best of your ability.

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202 The Physical Self Perception Profile (PSPP) What am I l ike? These are statements which allow people to describe themselves. There are no right or wrong answers since people differ a lot. First, decide which one of the two statements best describes you. Then, go to that side of the statement and check if it is just "sort of true" or "really true" FOR YOU Really True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 1 Some people feel that they are not very good when it comes to play ing sports BUT Others feel that they are really good at just about every sport 2 Some people are not v ery confident about their level of physical conditioning and fitness BUT Others always feel confident that they maintain excellent conditioning and fitness 3 Some people feel that compared to most, they have an attractive body BUT Others feel that compared to most, their body is not quite so attractive 4 Some people feel that they are physicall stronger that most people of their sex BUT Others feel that they lack physical strength compared to most others of their sex 5 Some people feel extremely proud of who they are and what they can do physically BUT Ot hers are sometimes not quite so proud of who they are physically Really True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 6 Some people feel that they are among the best when it comes to athletic ability BUT Others feel that they are not among the most able when it comes to athletics 7 Some people make certain they take part in some form of regular vigorous physical exercise BUT Others don't often manage to keep up regu lar vigorous physical exercise

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203 8 Some people feel that they have difficulty maintaining an attractive b ody BUT Others feel that they are easily able to keep their bodies looking attractive 9 Some people fe el that their muscles are much stronger than most others of their sex BUT Others feel that on the whole their muscles are not quite so strong as most others of their sex 10 Some people are sometimes not so happy with they way they are or what they can do physically BUT Others always feel happy about the kind of person they are physically Really True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 11 Some people are not qui te so confident when it comes to taking part in sports activities BUT Others are among the most confident when it comes to taking part in sports activities 12 Some people do not usually have a high level of stamina and fitness BUT Others always maintain a high level of stamina and fitness 13 Some people feel embarrased by their bodies when it comes to wearing few clothes BUT Others do not feel embarrassed by their bodies when it comes to wearing few cloth es 14 When it comes to situations requiring strength some people are the first to step forward BUT Whe n it comes to situations requiring strength some people are one of the last to step forward 15 When it comes to the physical side of themselves some people do not feel very confident BUT Others seem to have a real sense of confidence in the physical side of themselves Rea lly True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 16 Some people feel that they are always one of the best when it BUT Others feel that they are not one of the best when it

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204 comes to joining in sports activi tes comes to joining in sports activities 17 Some people tend to feel a little uneasy in fitness and exercise settings BUT Others feel confident and at ease at all times in fitness and exercise settings 18 Some people feel that they are often admired because their physique or figure is considered attractive BUT Others rarely feel that they receive admiration for the way their body looks 19 Some people tend to lack confidence when it comes to their physical strength BUT Others are extremely confiden t when it comes to their physical strength 20 Some people always have a really positive feeling about t he physical side of themselves BUT Others sometimes do not feel positive about the physical side of themselves Really True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 21 Some people are sometimes a little slower than most when it comes to learning new skills in a sports situation BUT Others have always seemed to be am ong the quickest when it comes to learning new sports skills 22 Some people feel extremely confident ab out their ability to maintain regular exercise and physical condition BUT Others don't feel quite so confident about their ability to maintain regular exercise and physical condition 23 Some poeple feel that compared to most, their bodies do not look in the best of shape BUT Others feel that compared to most their bodies always look in excellent physical shape 24 Some people feel that they are very strong and have well developed muscles compared to most pe ople BUT Others feel that they are not so strong and their muscles are not very well developed. 25 Som e people iwsh that they could have more respect for their physical selves BUT Others always have great respect for their physical selves Really True Sort of Sort of Really True

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205 for Me True for Me True for Me for Me 26 Given the chance, some people are always one of the first to join in sports activities BUT Other people sometimes hold back and are not usually among the first to join in sports 27 Some people feel that compared to most they a lways maintain a high level of physical conditioning BUT Others feel that compared to most their level of physical conditioning is usually not so high 28 Some people are extremely confident about the appearance of their body BUT Others are a little self conscious about the appearance of their bodies 29 Some people feel that they are not as good as ost at dealing with situations requiring physical strength BUT Others feel that they are among the best a dea ling with situations which require physical strength 30 Some people feel extemely satisfied with the ki nd of person they are physically BUT Others sometimes feel a little dissatisfied with their physical selves Really True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 31 Some people feel that being good at sports is vitally important to them BUT Others feel that being good at sports is not so important to them 32 Some people do not feel that maintaining a high level of physical conditioning is very important to them BUT Others feel that maintaining a high level of physical conditioning is extremely important to them 33 So me people believe that having an attractive physique or figure is vitally important to them BUT Others believe that having an attractive physique or figures is not all that important in their lives 34 Some people believe that being physically strong is not so important to them BUT Others feel that it is extremely important to them to be physically strong 35 Some people feel that having very good sports ability and skill is not so important to them BUT Oth ers feel that having a high level of sports ability is really important to them

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206 Really True for Me Sort of True for Me Sort of True for Me Really True for Me 36 Some people feel that maintaining regular vigorous exersie is vitally important to them BUT Others feel that keeping up regular vigorous exercise is not of prime importance to them 37 Some people do not feel it is so important to them to spend a lot of time and effort maintaining an attractive body BUT Others think that it is vitually important to spend time and effort maintaining an attractive body 38 Some people feel that being strong and having awell developed/toned muscles is vitally important to them BUT Others feel that being strong and having well developed/toned muscles is not so important to them

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207 State Trait Anxiety Scale Due to copyright restrictions this survey may not be copied or published, and is therefore not included.

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208 APPENDI X F THANK YOU NOTE Thank you for your participation in the motherhood study. Your participation is greatly appreciated. If you know of anyone who might be interested in participating, please feel free to refer them. Congratulations on y our new arrival and thank you again. Mariah

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209 APPENDIX G SUMMARY OF THE MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR THE INSTRUMENTS Scale Type Mean SD Physical Self Perception Body Reported 13.79 4.16 Personal Self worth Observed 13.9 4.42 Reported 14.79 3 .82 Observed 15.33 4.22 Attachment Mother Reported NA NA Attachment Child Observed 74.51 27.99 Reported NA NA Task Coping Observed 84.75 30.44 Reported NA NA Emotional Coping Observed 39.62 14.53 Reported NA NA Affective Coping Observed 41.62 18.34 Reported NA NA Cognitive Coping Observed 20.65 6.4 Reported NA NA STAI State Anxiety Observed 33.27 4.91 Reported 35.2 10.61 STAI Trait Anxiety Observed 34.32 11.2 Reported 34.79 9.22 Parent Stress Index Total Observe d 36.91 9.3 Reported 222.8 36.6 Parent Stress Index Parent Domain Observed 191.7 50.79 Reported 123.1 24.4 Parent Stress Index Child Domain Observed 104.84 34.23 Reported 99.7 18.8 Parent Stress Index Life Stress Observed 84.06 24.7 Reported 7.8 6.2 Parent Stress Index Distract/Hyper Observed 22.17 33.81 Reported 24.7 4.8 Parent Stress Index Adapt ability Observed 44.51 59.94 Reported 24.9 5.7 Parent Stress Index Reinforce Parent Observed 21.62 7.82 Reported 9.4 2.9 Parent Stress Index Demanding Observed 9.9 6.03 Reported 18.3 4.6

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210 Parent Stress Index Mood Observed 16.06 5.82 Reported 9.7 2.9 Parent Stress Index accept ability Observed 8.75 3.2 Reported 12.6 3.5 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence Observed 10.68 4.71 Reported 29.1 6 Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation Observed 21.95 7.37 Reported 12.6 3.7 Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment Observed 12.16 4.33 Reported 12.7 3.2 Parent Stress Index Parent Health Observed 12.30 5.84 Reported 11.7 3.4 Par ent Stress Index Role Restriction Observed 12.93 3.71 Reported 18.9 5.3 Parent Stress Index Depression Observed 18.13 5.64 Reported 20.3 5.5 Parent Stress Index Spouse Observed 16.82 6.06 Reported 16.9 5.1 Infant Care Observed 17.35 5.22 Repo rted NA NA PAR Physical Environment Observed 5.76 5.15 Reported 5.47 NA PAR Physical Health Observed 6.55 3.88 Reported NA NA Time Resources Observed 5.5 1.2 Reported 4.27 NA PAR Financial resources Observed 3.76 1.6 Reported NA NA PAR Interpersonal Resources Observed 4.81 1.74 Reported 5.63 NA PAR Knowledge Skill Resources Observed 5.33 1.41 Reported NA NA PAR Community resources Observed 5.39 .93 Reported 4.7 NA Observed 4.8 1.11 PAR Total Reported NA N A PSOC Total Observed 4.96 .93 Reported 63.83 9.92 PSOC Satisfaction Observed 73.80 16.29 Reported 38.76 5.87

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211 PSOC Efficacy Observed 36.54 12.49 Reported 25.08 5.97 Personal Resource Question Observed 34.43 11.79 Reported NA NA Observe d 121.51 31

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212 APPENDIX H PSI CHILD DOMAIN SUBSCALE MEAN AND SD COMPARISON Scale Type Mean SD Parent Stress Index Child Domain Reported 99.7 18.8 Observed 84.06 24.7 Parent Stress Index Distract/Hyper Reported 24.7 4.8 Observed 44.51 59.94 Pa rent Stress Index Adaptability Reported 24.9 5.7 Observed 21.62 7.82 Parent Stress Index Reinforce Parent Reported 9.4 2.9 Observed 9.9 6.03 Parent Stress Index Demanding Reported 18.3 4.6 Observed 16.06 5.82 Parent Stress Index Mood Reported 9.7 2.9 Observed 8.75 3.2 Parent Stress Index acceptability Reported 12.6 3.5 Observed 10.68 4.71

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213 APPENDIX I PSI PARENT DOMAIN SUBSCALE MEAN AND SD COMPARISON Scale Type Mean SD Parent Stress Index Parent Domain Reported 123.1 24.4 Observed 104.84 34.23 Parent Stress Index Parent Competence Reported 29.1 6 Observed 21.95 7.37 Parent Stress Index Parent Isolation Reported 12.6 3.7 Observed 12.16 4.33 Parent Stress Index Parent Attachment Reported 12.7 3.2 Observed 12.30 5.84 Parent Stress I ndex Parent Health Reported 11.7 3.4 Observed 12.93 3.71 Parent Stress Index Role Restriction Reported 18.9 5.3 Observed 18.13 5.64 Parent Stress Index Depression Reported 20.3 5.5 Observed 16.82 6.06 Parent Stress Index Spouse Reported 16.9 5.1 Observed 17.35 5.22

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214 LIST OF REFERENCES Abidin, R. (1995). Parenting Stress Index: Manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. Acton, R. & During, S. (1992). Preliminary results of aggression management training for aggressive parents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7 410 417. Affleck, G., Tennen, H., Rowe, J., Roscher, B. & Walker, L. (1989). Effects of formal to home transition of high risk infants: the benefits and costs of helping. Child Development, 60 488 501. Ainsworth, M.D.S, Blehar, M.C., Waters, E. & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum. Aldwin, C.M. & Revenson, T.A. (1987). Does coping help? A reexamination of the relation between coping and ment al health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(2), 337 348. Alexander, M.J. & Higgens, E.T. (1993). Emotional trade offs of becoming a parent: how social roles influence self discrepancy effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6 5(6), 1259 1269. Alexander, J.F. & Parsons, B.V. (1973). Functional family therapy Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. Backman, C.W. (1981). Attraction in interpersonal relationships. In R. Turner & M. Rosenberg (Eds.), Sociological perspectives on social psycholo gy (pp.235 268). New York: Basic Books. Ball, H.L., Hooker, E. & Kelly, P.J. (2000). Parent infant co perspectives. Infant and Child Development, 9, 67 74. Bandura, A. (1977). Self efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavior al change. Psychological Review, 84 191 215. Bandura, A. (1984). Recycling misconceptions of perceived self efficacy Cognitive Therapy and Research, 8(3), 231 255. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory Englewood cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist, 44, 1175 1184. Bandura, A. (1991). Social Cognitive Theory of Self Regulation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processe s, 50 248 287.

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232 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Mariah Brown Spengler grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn essee. After graduating from Girls Preparatory School in May of 1990, she attended Furman University where p sychology in 1994. In 1998, Dr. Spengler obtained her Master of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University a nd her ACSM Exercise Specialist Certification, and in 1999 she obtained her Master of Education in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University. In 1999 she moved to Gainesville, Florida where she worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in both the community and at the University of Florida Student Mental Health, and pursed her doctoral degree in Mental Health Counseling. After completing her dissertation in August of 2010, Dr Spengler remained at the University of Florida as a part time EA P counselor.