• health;
  • public and community health nursing;
  • research;
  • transition;
  • women

ABSTRACT Because maternal-child populations have traditionally been a major practice target for public and community health nursing (P/CHN), understanding the health effects of life transition experiences for women and their children is key to the advancement of P/CHN practice and research. To date there are no integrated conceptual models available that examine transition and its health effects in women, and ultimately their children, to single or multiple transitions. In order to help women and those with dependent children transition successfully, strong transition frameworks for nursing are needed. The purpose of this paper is to describe a conceptual model, Health Effects of Life Transition for Women and Children. Major components include the transition experience (developmental, situational, health illness), transition assets/risks (personal, environmental), cognitive-behavioral health indicators of transition (perception of situation, personal efficacy, change readiness, engagement, help-seeking, health behaviors, services use), transition adaptive outcomes of health (health status, intensity of need for nursing care) and competence (transition specific skill acquisition, health management, resourcefulness) and long-term preventive health outcomes (risk reduction, disability prevention, cost savings, mastery, injury prevention). The authors propose that cognitive-behavioral health indicators are foundational to a successful transition experience, are why some people have better transition outcomes than others, and when influenced by P/CHN intervention lead to improved long-term outcomes.