Transition to parenthood: it does not get easier the next time. Exploring ways to support well-being among parents with newborns

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Abstract

Investing in parents is important because their well-being is positively related to the development and well-being of their children. This study investigated which factors predict two types of parents’ well-being: individual well-being and parenting-related well-being. Participants were 416 parents (90 fathers, 326 mothers) of a baby (younger than age 1 year old), both first-time parents and not-first-time parents. Relationship quality, life skills, parenting skills, and social support were taken into account. Results show that both types of well-being have different main predictors. Self-esteem, self-management, and interpersonal relationship skills contribute to both types of well-being, suggesting that interventions aimed at improving these skills could be very beneficial for parents in their transition to parenthood. Fathers and mothers differ significantly on several predictors—for example, self-esteem, self-management, parenting behavior, and empathy—suggesting they might have different needs for support in the transition to parenthood. Finally, results show that, though parents get better at providing basic care for their children, regarding well-being and relationship quality, not-first-time parents are not better off then first-time parents. Therefore, interventions aimed at easing the transition to parenthood should not only be aimed at first time parents, they might be more effective for parents who already have children.

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APA

Ketner, S. L., Gravesteijn, C., & Verschuur, M. J. (2019). Transition to parenthood: it does not get easier the next time. Exploring ways to support well-being among parents with newborns. Journal of Family Social Work, 22(3), 274–291. https://doi.org/10.1080/10522158.2018.1499063

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