Family Sense of Coherence and Family Adaptation Among Childbearing Couples
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.