Maternal role attainment with medically fragile infants: Part 2. relationship to the quality of parenting

Authors

  • Diane Holditch-Davis,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, Duke University, 307 Trent Drive, DUMC 3322, Durham, NC 27710
    • School of Nursing, Duke University, 307 Trent Drive, DUMC 3322, Durham, NC 27710.
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    • Marcus Hobbs Distinguished Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research Affairs.

  • Margaret Shandor Miles,

    1. School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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    • Professor.

  • Margaret R. Burchinal,

    1. Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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    • Research Professor and Senior Scientist and Director of Design and Statistics.

  • Barbara Davis Goldman

    1. Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    2. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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    • Research Associate Professor and Scientist.


  • The preparation of this paper was supported by Grant No. NR02868 from the National Institute for Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health to the second author. We wish to thank Todd Schwartz for statistical consultation and Susan Brunssen, Jennifer Daniels, Sharron Docherty, Deborah Nelson, Elizabeth Gunn, Esther Mae Tesh, Jennifer D'Auria, Annette Frauman, Matt McBee, and Lung-Chang Chien for technical assistance.

Abstract

We examined which components of maternal role attainment (identity, presence, competence) influenced quality of parenting for 72 medically fragile infants, controlling for maternal education and infant illness severity. Maternal competence was related to responsiveness. Maternal presence and technology dependence were inversely related to participation. Greater competence and maternal education were associated with better normal caregiving. Presence was negatively related although competence was positively related to illness-related caregiving. Mothers with lower competence and more technology dependent children perceived their children as more vulnerable and child cues as more difficult to read. Maternal role attainment influenced parenting quality for these infants more than did child illness severity; thus interventions are needed to help mothers develop their maternal role during hospitalization and after discharge. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:35–48, 2011

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