The Role of Childhood Memory Scores in Parenting in Pregnancy and Early Postpartum

Issue: 
Publication Date: 
03/1999
Page Count: 
18
Starting Page: 
285
Price: $10.00
Abstract: 

As expectant parents begin the developmental tasks of pregnancy, their own histories hegin to resurface, consciously or subconsciously. Ways to explore childhood memories during pregnancy in a non-threatening and nurturing way may enhance the medical care and the parenting experience in this transition. Since pregnancy is a time when people are open to new information and change, this can be an opportunity for exploring relationships with partners, their health care providers, and the unborn child. We devised a set of questions to determine what variables may interfere with the process of pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. We were interested in strengthening health care and curriculum content in birth classes for parents as they move through pregnancy and the parenting process.

References: 

Belsky, J. (1985). Experimenting with the family in the newborn period. Child Development, 56, 407-414.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books.

Chapman, L. (1991). Expectant fathers' roles during labor and birth. JOGNN, 21, 114-120.

Coleman, P., Nelson, E. S., & Sundre, D. L. (1999). The relationship between prenatal expectations and postnatal attitudes among first-time mothers. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 17, 27-39.

Crnic, K. A., Greenberg, M. T., Ragozin, A. S., Robinson, N. M., & Basham, R. B. (1983). Effects of stress and social support on mothers and premature and full term infants. Child Development, 54, 209-217.

Cronenwett, L. R., & Kunst Wilson, W. (1981). Stress, social support, and the transition to fatherhood. Nursing Research, 30, 196-201.

Eagan, A. B. (1985). The Newborn Mother: Stages of Her Growth. Boston: Little, Brown.

Ferketich, S. L., & Mercer, R. T. (1985). Predictors of role competence for experienced and inexperienced fathers. Nursing Research, 44, 89-95.

Findeisen, B. (1992). The long term psychological impact of pre- and perinatal experiences. Presentation at the World Congress of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine. Kracow, Poland. In International Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Studies, 4, Supplement 1, 14.

Garbarino, J., & Sherman, D. (1980). High risk neighborhoods and high risk families: The human ecology of child maltreatment. Child Development, 51, 188-198.

Gjerdingen, D. K., Froberg, D. G., & Fontaine, P. (1991). The effects of social support on women's health during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. Family Medicine, 23, 370-375.

Glazer, G. (1989). Anxiety and Stressors of expectant fathers. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 11, 47-59.

Goldenberg, I., & Goldenberg, H. (1996). Family Therapy: An Overview (4th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA, Brooks/Cole.

Gurwitt, A. R. (1976). Aspects of prospective fatherhood: A case report. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 31, 237-271.

Hellerstedt, W. L., Pirie, P. L., Lando, H. A., Curry, S. J., McBride, C. M., Grothaus, L. C., & Nelson, J. C. (1998). Differences in preconceptional and prenatal behaviors in women with intended and unintended pregnancies. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 663-666.

Jordan, P. L. (1990). Laboring for relevance: expectant and new fatherhood. Nursing Research, 39, 11-16.

Nichols, M. R. (1993). Paternal perspectives of the childbirth experience. Maternal & Child Nursing Journal, 21, 99-108.

Nugent, J. K, & Brazelton, T. B. (1989). Preventive intervention with infants and families: The NBAS model. Infant Mental Health Journal, 10, 84-94.

O'Leary, J. M. (1992). Parenting during pregnancy: A developmental theory. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 7, 113-123.

O'Leary, J., & Thorwick, C. (1993). Parenting during pregnancy: The infant as the vehicle for intervention in high risk pregnancy. International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychololgy and Medicine, 5, 303-310.

Onyskiw, J. E., Harrison, M. J., & Magill-Evans, J. E. (1997). Past childhood experiences and current parent-infant interactions. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 19, 501-518.

Peterson, G. (1992). A preventive prenatal counseling model. In R. Klimek (Ed.), Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine. Krakow, Poland.

Pfost, K. S., Stevens, M. J., & Lum, C. U. (1990). The relationship of demographic variables, antepartum depression, and stress to postpartum depression. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46, 588-592.

Riesch, S. K, Kuester, L., Brost, D., & McCarthy, J. G. (1996). Fathers' perceptions of how they were parented. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 13, 13-29.

Sameroff, A. J. (1994). Developmental systems and family functioning. In R. D. Parke & S. G. Kellan (Eds.), Exploring Family Relationships with Other Social Contexts (pp. 199-224). Hillsdale, NJ, Erlbaum.

Scott Heyes, G. (1984). Childbearing as a mutual experience. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, New University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.

Seguin, L., Potvin, L., St. Denis, M., & Loiselle, J. (1995). Chronic Stressors, social support, and depression during pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 85, 583-589.

Shaver, P. R., & Brennan, K. A. (1991). Measures of depression and loneliness, in Robinson, J. P., Shaver, P. R., & Wrightsman, L. S. (Eds.). Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes (pp. 195-289, see especially pp. 215-219). San Diego, Academic Press.

Unterman, R. R., Posner, N. A., & Williams, K. N. (1990). Postpartum depressive disorders: changing trends. Birth, 131-137.

Watson, W. J, Watson, L., Wetzel, W., Bader, E., & Talbot, Y. (1995). Transition to parenthood. What about fathers? Canadian Family Physician, 41, 807-812.

Zaslow, M., Pederson, F., Kramer, E., Cain, R., Suwalsky, J., & Fivel, M. (1981). Depressed Mood in New Fathers: Interviews and Behavioral Correlates. Boston, Society for Research in Child Development.

Zeanah, C. H., & Zeanah, P. D. (1989). Intergenerational transmission of maltreatment: Insights from attachment theory and research. Psychiatry, 52, 177-196.

Zuckerman, B., Amaro, H., Bauchner, H., & Cabrai, H. (1989). Depressive symptoms during pregnancy: relationship to poor health behaviors. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 160(5-Pt 1), 1107-1111.

Zuckerman, M., & Lubin, B. (1965). Manual for the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List. San Diego, CA, Educational and Industrial Testing Service.

Joann O'Leary, MS, MPH and Cecilie Gaziano, PhD, MA

Joann O'Leary, MS, MPH is a parent-infant specialist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital., and Cecilie Gaziano Ph.D., is a social science consultant at Research Solutions, Inc., both of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The authors acknowledge financial support by Hennepin Technical College and Abbott Northwestern Hospital., of Minneapolis, MN, and the help of the participating parents. Address reprint requests to Joann O'Leary, Parent-Infant Specialist, Route 11605, Abbott Northwestern Hospital., 800 East 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407; phone: (612) 863-4427, fax (612) 863-4615, email: joleary@allina.com.

APPENDIX

A. The pregnancy:

Q1. Had you been trying to get pregnant?

a. Yes.......................................................................1

b. No........................................................................2

Q2. How would you describe the pregnancy so far?

a. Very unpleasant ...................................................1

b. Unpleasant..........................................................2

c. Pleasant...............................................................3

d. Very pleasant .......................................................4

B. Anticipation of labor and birth:

Q3. You probably have some idea what it will be like to give birth. How do you feel now when you think about you [your partner's] labor and giving birth? Please circle the number for each adjective below which comes closest to how you feel. (From Scott-Heyes, 1984)

C. Evaluation of labor and birth:

Q4. Now, we'd like to ask what you think your [your partner's] labor will be like. Some words which are opposites are shown below with a scale from "1 to 7," on which "1" and "7" are the most extreme, "4" is in the middle, and the other numbers fall in between. Please circle the number below which is closest to what you think your [your partner's] labor will be like.

Q5. And what do you think the birth will be like? Here, "the birth" refers only to the time from when the top of the baby's head can first be seen until he or she is completely born. (From Scott-Heyes, 1984) [REPEAT THE PREVIOUS SCALE, GOOD-BAD, ETC.]

D. Relationships with others: Now, here are some questions about you and your family:

Q6. How many close friends do you have (people that you feel at ease with, can talk to about private matters, and can call on for help)?

PLEASE CIRCLE ONE: 0123456789 10 (or more)

Q7. How many relatives do you have that you feel close to?

PLEASE CIRCLE ONE: 0123456789 10 (or more)

Q8. With whom did you live for the majority of the time until you were 18 years old?

a. Both mother and father........................................1

b. Mother only..........................................................2

c. Father only ...........................................................3

d. Other (please specify:) ______________________4

Q9. When you were growing up, did your mother (or female guardian) work outside the home at any time either full time or part time, or did she never work outside the home?

a. Full time...............................................................1

b. Part time..............................................................2

c. Never worked outside the home............................3

Q10. Now picture a scale from "1 to 10," where "10" stands for someone who has strong ties to his or her local community and would strongly prefer to continue living there, while "1" stands for someone without any ties to the local community and would not be reluctant to move away. Where would you place yourself on that scale?

PLEASE CIRCLE ONE: 0123456789 10 (or more)

Q11. How long have you lived in the community in which you reside now?

a. 5 years or less ......................................................1

b. Between 6 and 10 years........................................2

c. Between 11 and 20 years ......................................3

d. More than 20 years ..............................................4

Q12. How long do you plan to remain in this community?

a. 5 years or less ......................................................1

b. Between 6 and 10 years........................................2

c. Between 11 and 20 years......................................3

d. More than 20 years ..............................................4

E. Childhood memory score:

Q13. So much of how we parent comes from our own background experience. Please describe your own memory of how you were parented. Some words which are opposites are shown below with a scale from "1 to 7," on which "1" and "7" are the most extreme and the other numbers fall in between. Please circle the number below which is closest to how you think you were parented.

F. Mood scores:

Q14. Below are some words which describe different kinds of moods and feelings. Please circle the number of the words below which describe how you have been feeling in the last few weeks. Some of the words may sound alike, but each one is a little different from the others. Please circle all of the numbers corresponding to the words which describe your feelings. Please work quickly.

[For list of words, see: Zuckerman & Lubin (contains both anxiety and depression mood scales), 1965, or Shaver & Brennan, 1991 (depressive mood scale only).]