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A quantitative longitudinal study to explore factors which influence maternal self-efficacy among Chinese primiparous women during the initial postpartum period

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Xujuan Zheng, Jane Morrell, Kim Watts

Original languageEnglish
Early online date25 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Dec 2017

King's Authors


Background Parenting during infancy is highly problematic for Chine+se primiparous women. As an important determinant of good parenting, maternal self-efficacy (MSE) should be paid more attention by researchers. At present, the limitations of previous research about MSE during infancy are that the factors which influence MSE remained poorly explored, there were few studies with Chinese women, and the studies did not consider the effect of different cultures. Objectives To explore factors which influence MSE in primiparous women in China in the first three months postnatally. Methods A quantitative longitudinal study using questionnaires was conducted. In total, 420 Chinese primiparous women were recruited in obstetric wards at three hospitals in Xiamen City, Fujian Province of China. Initial baseline questionnaires to measure socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were distributed to participants face-to-face by the researcher on the postnatal ward at three days postnatally. Follow-up questionnaires at six and 12 weeks postnatally were sent via e-mail by the researcher to participants, including the Self-efficacy in Infant Care Scale (SICS), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Postpartum Social Support Scale (PSSS) to measure MSE, postnatal depression symptoms and social support, respectively. These were returned by participants via e-mail. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS. Results The variables: social support, women's satisfaction with “Doing the month”, postnatal depression, maternal education, baby health, and maternal occupation had an influence on MSE at six weeks postnatally (Adjusted R2=0.510, F=46.084, P<0.01); and the variables: postnatal depression, social support, baby health, women's satisfaction with “Doing the month”, and baby fussiness were the factors influencing MSE at 12 weeks postnatally (Adjusted R2=0.485, F=41.082, P<0.01). Conclusions Obstetric nurses and women's family members need to be aware of the significant contribution of social support, women's satisfaction with “Doing the month” in positively influencing primiparous women's MSE, and the significant effect of postnatal depression symptoms in negatively impacting on first-time mothers’ MSE; they should pay more attention to primiparous women with less education, unemployed mothers, women with unskilled occupations, women with an unhealthy baby, and women with a baby with a difficult temperament to improve their comparatively lower MSE levels during the initial postnatal period.

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