First time fathers and their perception of participation in labour and delivery

Rockwell, Beverley (1986) First time fathers and their perception of participation in labour and delivery. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purposes of this research were to obtain an overview of factors thought to predispose a man to participate in the childbearing cycle, changes occurring in men at this time, their perceptions of their participation and to test for the presence of these factors in a sample of Newfoundland men. The study base was obtained from a review of available literature on expectant fathers. Implications of their participation were obtained from writings which pertained to the changing roles of father's. A conceptual model developed from Role Theory served as a guide for identification and categorization of paternal behaviours described in the literature. Selected variables related to men's backgrounds, physical and/or emotional changes, concerns and their preparation for fatherhood. Immediate post-partum reactions to participation in labour and delivery were explored. Reviewed literature suggested that the needs of fathers are not being met by health professionals, mainly due to lack of empirical knowledge of what these needs are. -- The subjects consisted of 36 first-time fathers who were present during labour and/or delivery. Data collection was by subject interview in early labour and post-delivery questionnaire. Frequencies and means of data were obtained in order to describe the population in relation to the variables being investigated. Factor analysis was performed on the fathers' perceptions of their participation. Tests of significance were performed using identified principal components as the dependent variables. In this manner differences of perceptions of prepared/unprepared fathers and birth attenders/non-attenders were obtained. -- Results revealed the majority of these fathers had experienced psychosocial changes and concerns during their wives' pregnancies. A minority reported physical changes. Prenatal classes had been attended by most of the men and a variety of activities to augment their ability to support their wives during labour were reported. Preparation for the fatherhood role was suggested in the findings. Reported activities were informal and self-motivated. Analysis of activities supported the suggestion that there were, in fact, two operations occurring; preparation to provide support to the wife and preparation to be father to the child, but that health care professionals provided anticipatory guidance almost exclusively on the support functions of expectant fathers. Factor analysis of the post delivery questionnaire identified seven principal components which accounted for 66% of overall variance. The subjects' perceptions of their participation was, on the whole, positive. The exception was in regards to knowledge of how to help their wives. Two tailed T tests performed on subgroups of this population showed two areas of statistical significance (p. = < 0.02). Perceptions of the processes of labour and delivery was more positive both in prepared fathers than unprepared and in men who had attended delivery than those who had not. -- The finding's of this study suggest an evaluation of prenatal course content, inclusion of fathers psychosocial needs in the antenatal assessment of each pregnancy and the development of a tool which would assess each participating father's desires and abilities to carry out support functions during labour and delivery. However, the results of this study are descriptive in nature and further research is recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5594
Item ID: 5594
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 145-155.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 1986
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fathers--Attitudes; Childbirth; Labor (Obstetrics); Delivery (Obstetrics)
Medical Subject Heading: Fathers--psychology; Perception

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