The Effect of Support Expectations on Prenatal Attachment: An Evidence-Based Approach for Intervention in an Adolescent Population
Author: Feldman, Janis
Source: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, Volume 24, Number 3, June 2007 , pp. 209-234(26)
Abstract:This study was designed to determine the significant variables predicting prenatal attachment in an adolescent population. Scientifically supported knowledge of the factors enhancing attachment plays a crucial role in assisting social workers and other health care professionals to accurately assess and intervene to decrease pregnancy risks. Previous prenatal attachment studies demonstrated conflicting findings due to problems from using different theoretical frameworks and research methodologies. In order to ensure consistency, this study infused an attachment theory perspective. Bowlby's attachment theory, Levitt's support expectations model, and research from prenatal relationship studies were integrated. The social survey sampled 129 minority status pregnant adolescents attending public school. Measurements included the Prenatal Attachment Inventory (PAI) and the Support Expectations Index (SEI). Regression analyses revealed that support expectation was a powerful predictor of prenatal attachment with pregnancy planning and less stress adding importantly to explain over 33% of the variance. Support expectation was a greater predictor of prenatal attachment than the actual support available. Findings also supported the construct of prenatal attachment as the initial stage of development of the life cycle.
Keywords: Prenatal Attachment; Adolescent Pregnancy; Attachment Theory; Attachment Research; Social Support; Social Support Expectations; Prenatal Attachment Inventory (PAI); Developmental Life Span; Developmental Process; Developmental Life Cycle
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-06-01