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Title:Continuity and Discontinuity in Parent -Infant Relationships: Parenting Behaviors Over the First Year of Life
Author(s):Sokolowski, Malgorzata
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mangelsdorf, Sarah C.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:Family systems theory characterizes families as dynamic, ever-changing systems (P. Minuchin, 1985; S. Minuchin, 1974). Family systems theorists have called for increased investigation of fathers in the family and examination of processes in addition to effects (Belsky & Barends, 2002; Cowan, 1997; Cox & Paley, 1997; Heinicke, 2002). Two main issues are examined in this report: (1) social-contextual, child, and personal antecedents of mothers' and fathers' parenting behaviors with their infants at 3.5 months and 1 year postpartum, and (2) contexts of continuity and discontinuity in mothers' and fathers' sensitivity to their infants from 3.5 months to 1 year. Mothers' and fathers' parenting behaviors were assessed at both 3.5 months and 1 year postpartum. Personal antecedents of parenting (personality) were assessed in the third trimester via questionnaires. Social-contextual correlates (marriage, spousal personality and life stress) were assessed prenatally, as well as at 3.5 and 12 months postpartum. Child antecedents of parenting were assessed prenatally (expectations for infant temperament) and at 3.5 and 12 months of age (ratings of infant temperament). Results revealed significant personality and child temperament correlates of mothers' and fathers' parenting behaviors at both time points. In addition, marital adjustment and parental personality emerged as significant moderators of child temperament and parenting behaviors. Spousal personality showed significant associations with parental sensitivity. Finally, change and stability in the mother-infant relationship was related to multiple factors; whereas change and stability in the father-infant relationship was mostly related to maternal personality. Results point to the interdependence of members of a family and are discussed in terms of family systems theory. This research has important implications for clinicians working with families as they navigate challenging life transitions.
Issue Date:2005
Description:204 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3182383
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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