Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2798-4065

Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Kenneth Critchfield, PhD

Abstract

The focus of maternal postpartum care has shifted in the past fifty years. Initially, medical doctors analyzed the physical well-being of the infant, and little attention was paid to the mother's recovery outside of physical wellness. Although knowledge of postpartum ailments, both psychological and physical are now pervasive, there are few measures that directly assess the factors that contribute to a mother's well-being and/or speak to her approach to parenting from the initial stages. Specific links from childhood, psychosocial factors, current relationship with spouses, and pain experienced as a result of childbirth are just a few examples of the elements having contributory influence on a mother's general wellness. However, it remains that during the immediate postpartum period that well-being is often under-discussed or not discussed with the mother by her physician. A specific well-being tool was created to assess well-being in a way that addresses the specific needs and experiences of new mothers after giving birth, and provide a straightforward basis for conversation with medical professionals. This tool, the Maternal Well-Being Measure (MaWM) was designed in the present study to assess mothers' well-being across domains: physical, emotional, relationship with self, relationship with others, access to resources, and meaning of parenthood. Paired with the Intrex, an assessment measure developed to analyze early relationships and how they impact adult functioning, the goal of this study was to develop what factors may contribute to maternal well-being on a global level in primiparous mothers. Initial psychometric properties, concurrent validity, and utility of the measure are explored in a small sample of N = 21 postpartum mothers.

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