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First-Time Fathers and Stressors in the Postpartum Period

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The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the everyday stressors of first-time fathers during the postpartum period and to begin the process of establishing reliability and validity for the use of the Everyday Stressors Index with a sample of first-time fathers. A convenience sample of 19 participants included first-time fathers ranging in age from 18 to 45 years and mostly living in medium-sized cities. The results indicated that factors such as a feeling of not having enough time for too many responsibilities, financial issues, and concerns about the health of the child and other family member(s) were sources of stress. However, with the exception of slight differences in the ranking, everyday stressors among first-time fathers closely resembled previously reported stressors of first-time mothers. Although the sample was small and the results nongeneralizable, these findings suggest that educational efforts by health-care professionals could beneficially be directed toward fathers as well as mothers throughout the prenatal and postpartum periods. Policy implications for nursing and new directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: first-time fathers; postpartum period; stressors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: MELISSA POLLOCK is a nurse practioner in the field of pediatrics in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. 2: LINDA AMANKWAA is an associate professor of nursing at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the American Nurses Association. 3: ADANSI AMANKWAA is the coordinator of the sociology program at Albany State University and a member of the Population Association of America and the Southern Demographic Association.

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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