Family Sense of Coherence and Family Adaptation Among Childbearing Couples

Authors

  • Fei-Wan Ngai PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
    • Dr. Fei-Wan Ngai, The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Room 417, 4/F, William M W Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. E-mail: fwngai@hku.hk

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  • Siew-Fei Ngu MBBS (London), MRCOG

    1. Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen Mary Hospital, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Hong Kong
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Abstract

Purpose

A family sense of coherence is important to successful family adaptation during parental transition. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between family sense of coherence, stress, family and marital functioning, and depressive symptoms among Chinese childbearing couples.

Design

A cross-sectional design was used. Two hundred and twenty-four Chinese childbearing couples were recruited at the antenatal clinic between January and May 2011.

Methods

Data were collected using the Family Sense of Competence Scale, Social Readjustment Rating Scale, Medical Outcome Study Family and Marital Functioning Measures, and General Health Questionnaire. Path analysis was employed.

Findings

Family sense of coherence had a direct impact on family and marital functioning and depressive symptoms among both couples. Family sense of coherence also mediated the effect of stress on family and marital functioning and depressive symptoms among the pregnant women.

Conclusions

The study provides evidence that family sense of coherence plays a significant role in promoting family functioning and reducing depressive symptoms during the transition to parenthood.

Clinical Relevance

Knowledge of the impact of family sense of coherence in parental transition can better equip healthcare professionals for developing couple-based and culturally sensitive care to assist childbearing couples to cope with the stress and demands of the parental role, thereby promoting positive family functioning and well-being.

Ancillary