Discharge and beyond. A longitudinal study comparing stress and coping in parents of preterm infants
This study compared patterns in the stress, coping and parenting efficacy of mothers and fathers of low risk preterm infants. 25 couples completed a survey about their perceptions of their stress, coping, social support and parenting efficacy just prior to their infant's discharge from hospital and again three months later. For both mothers and fathers negative stress appraisals decreased and controllability appraisals increased in the three months following discharge. There were also changes in their coping strategies and social support. Psychological distress was higher among mothers than fathers but mothers tended to appraise the situation more optimistically, than fathers. Parenting efficacy also increased for mothers in the three months following discharge but was unchanged for fathers. These findings help us to understand parents' specific responses to stress and to plan discharge and community follow-up care in order to support families as they adjust to life subsequent to this stressful event.
Journal of Neonatal Nursing
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology