ERIC Number: ED333978
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Maternal Self-Concept, Parity, and Marital Status on Development of the Vulnerable Child Syndrome.
Christensen, M. J.; And Others
A total of 130 mother-infant pairs participated in a study of the relation of maternal psychological and demographic variables to the vulnerable child syndrome, a condition in which parents persist in viewing their children as vulnerable following recovery from a serious medical complication. The following hypotheses were tested: (1) mothers who have newborns with medical complications will experience a decrease in self-esteem after delivery; (2) mothers of newborns with medical complications will be more likely to consider their children difficult to care for, use pediatric care inappropriately and be dissatisfied with their care, and experience parenting problems that result in Department of Human Services (DHS) involvement; and (3) multiparity, married status, and greater self-esteem will be associated with more positive outcomes. Comparison of study groups on selected health outcomes consistently demonstrated more negative outcomes for mother-infant pairs in which the infant had experienced some neonatal complication. The outcomes that were most dependent on the quality of the mother-child relationship appear to have been most affected by the neonatal experience. Mothers of infants with medical complications, and especially those who deliver preterm, may persist in viewing their children as especially difficult to care for, and appear to be at higher risk for parenting problems. Maternal self-concept, parity, and marital status demonstrated limited relationships with the outcomes of interest, but higher self-concept and parity may provide mothers some advantages in relating to their infants. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Vulnerable Child Syndrome
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).