SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Pregnancy as a transition in family life is perceived as a crisis by many families Sociodemographic characteristics of families during pregnancy can serve as important sources of information to nurses in drawing out family strengths and providing assistance during this crisis Family dynamics were measured in 160 women in the third trimester of pregnancy Half were in their first pregnancy and half were in their second pregnancy The research question addressed the relationship between family dynamics and several sociodemographic characteristics Statistically significant relationships were found between the sociodemographic variables of marital and social status, and several dimensions of family dynamics Families in which couples were married and who enjoyed a higher social status had more positive family dynamics in the dimensions of individuation, stability, flexibility, mutuality and communication Race, maternal age and parity were not related to level of family dynamics Strengths in families who have more positive dynamics may be explained by availability of resources, their expertise in using the system, societal approval of marriage and internal family support from the husband It is essential for nursing care to include systematic family assessment, socialization in effectively using the health care system and individualized family guidance