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Maternal role attainment with medically fragile infants: Part 1. measurement and correlates during the first year of life

Authors

  • Margaret Shandor Miles,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
    • CB 7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.
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    • Professor.

  • Diane Holditch-Davis,

    1. Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC
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    • Marcus Hobbs Distinguished Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research Affairs.

  • Margaret R. Burchinal,

    1. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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    • Senior Scientist and Director of Design and Statistics.

  • Susan Brunssen

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


  • The preparation of this paper was supported by Grant NR02868 from the National Institute for Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health to the first 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. We also acknowledge the consultation and support of the late Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner during the conceptualization of this project.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to extend scholarship on maternal role attainment (MRA). We used a triangulation of behavioral and self-report variables to measure MRA—identity, presence, and competence—with mothers of medically fragile infants (n = 81), and explored characteristics that influenced MRA longitudinally. Competence and presence were best measured using both self-report and observational methods, whereas identity was best measured with a questionnaire. Mothers with less worry reported higher levels of identity. Presence was higher with less alert infants, whereas competence was higher with more alert infants, lower parental role stress, higher education, and being married. Mothers with more illness-related distress and less alert infants, and unmarried and less educated mothers may need interventions to enhance MRA. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:20–34, 2011

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