Parents' beliefs about themselves as parents of a new infant: Instrument development


  • Karen F. Pridham,

    Corresponding author
    • Karen F. Pridham, Ph.D., Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wl 53792
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    • Dr. Karen F. Pridham is a professor in the School of Nursing and the Department of Family Medicine and Practice at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Audrey S. Chang is Project Associate in the School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin at Madison.

  • Audrey S. Chang


The instrument, What Being the Parent of a New Baby is Like (WPL), was designed to assess parental experiences and self-images which are likely to influence problem-solving concerning their infants. Forty-nine mothers responded to the questionnaire on three separate occasions during the infants' first 3 months. These data were the basis for a preliminary examination of the item characteristics, reliability (internal consistency), and validity. The pattern of responses to the WPL was in the expected direction for a sample of mothers who, on the whole, functioned well as parents. Principal components factor analysis with iteration and varimax orthogonal rotation identified two variables (centrality of the infant and success in parenting) that together accounted for 60.1% of the variance; adequate internal consistency for success and modest internal consistency for centrality were demonstrated. Use of the Neonatal Perception and Degree of Bother Inventories demonstrated divergent validity. Expected parity differences tested the known groups technique of construct validity. The significant relationship between success and a measure of parents' perceptions of their problem-solving skills demonstrated concurrent validity. Further testing of WPL with added items on larger and more heterogeneous samples is warranted.