The influence of reflective functioning on maternal stress and depression in a preterm-infant parent population

Sidhu, Raychelle (2011). The influence of reflective functioning on maternal stress and depression in a preterm-infant parent population Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Sidhu, Raychelle
Thesis Title The influence of reflective functioning on maternal stress and depression in a preterm-infant parent population
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Professor Justin Kenardy
Total pages 136
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The current study examines the relationship between maternal reflective functioning (RF) on stress and depression in mothers with preterm infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Research indicates that the NICU environment can cause high level of stress and depression, which impact on the development of a secure infant-mother relationship. Much research has been conducted to determine the factors that predict secure attachment. Recently RF has emerged as a strong predictor. Furthermore, RF has emerged as protective factor for the infant-parent relationship in situations where the family is experiencing high stress levels. The current study will investigate whether RF capacity is related to stress levels and depression in a NICU environment. It is hypothesized that mothers with high RF ability will report lower levels of stress and depression during their child‟s NICU admission, as compared to mothers with low RF. Twenty-four mothers, with 7- to 14-day-old preterm infants admitted in the Royal Brisbane Women‟s Hospital, were interviewed on the Parent Development Interview (PDI). The Reflective Functioning Scoring Manual was used to rate maternal RF on the PDI. The Parental Stress Scale: NICU and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were administered to measure maternal stress and depression, respectively. The results showed that RF was not related to maternal reports of stress. However depression was found to be related to RF capacity. Mothers with high RF were less likely to be classified as depressed compared to mothers of low RF. The strengths, limitation of the are discussed and recommendations for future research are outlined.
Keyword Maternal reflective functioning
Stress and depression in mothers
Preterm infants

 
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