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Keywords:

  • health psychology;
  • healthcare;
  • instrument development;
  • maternal self-efficacy;
  • neonatal care;
  • parenting;
  • Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy tool

Abstract

Title. Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy (PMP S-E) tool: development and validation with mothers of hospitalized preterm neonates

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to develop and test the psychometric properties of the Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy tool.

Background.  Mothers’ perceptions of their ability to parent (maternal parenting self-efficacy) is a critical mechanism guiding their interactions with their preterm newborns. A robust measure is needed which can measure mothers’ perceptions of their ability to understand and care for their hospitalized preterm neonates as well as being sensitive to the various levels and tasks in parenting.

Methods.  Using a mixed sampling methodology (convenience or randomized cluster control trial) 165 relatively healthy and hospitalized mother-preterm infant dyads were recruited in 2003–2005 from two intensive care neonatal units in the United Kingdom (UK). Mothers were recruited within the first 28 days after giving birth to a preterm baby. The Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy tool, which is made up of 20 items representing four theorized subscales, was tested for reliability and validity.

Results.  Internal consistency reliability of the Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy tool was 0·91, external/test-retest reliability was 0·96, P < 0·01. Divergent validity using the Maternal Self-Report Inventory was rs = 0·4, P < 0·05 and using the Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale was rs = 0·31, P < 0·01.

Conclusion.  The Perceived Maternal Parenting Self-Efficacy tool is a psychometrically robust, reliable and valid measure of parenting self-efficacy in mothers of relatively healthy hospitalized preterm neonates. Although application outside the UK will require further cross-cultural validation, the tool has the potential to provide healthcare professionals with a reliable method of identifying mothers of preterm hospitalized babies who are in need of further support.