Family dynamics, parental-fetal attachment and infant temperament


Margaret Wilson PhD CPNP College of Nursing, 985330 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198–5330, USA.


Family dynamics, parental-fetal attachment and infant temperament

The purpose of this longitudinal study of families having their first or second baby was to explore relationships among family dynamics, paternal- and maternal-fetal attachment, and infant temperament. Data were collected from 156 women and 62 of their partners during the third trimester of pregnancy. One year later, when the infant was 8–9 months old, 75 of the women and 30 of their partners participated. In a hierarchical multiple regression analysis, after controlling for demographic variables, mutuality in the family was associated with greater maternal- and paternal-fetal attachment. Family dynamics were stable across the transition to parenthood except for an increase in role conflict reported by mothers. Sensitivity to specific family experiences by clinicians can provide assistance to families during these periods.