The Trajectory of Maternal Competence in Taiwanese Women: A Latent Growth Curve Model

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Hsiu-Rong Cheng, MSN, RN1
Ying-Fen Tseng, PhD, RN2
Huei-Mein Chen, MSN, RN2
Tiao-Lin Hsu, MSN, RN2
1School of Nursing, The University ofTexas at Austin, Austin, TX
2Department of Nursing, Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, Tainan County, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: realize the trajectory of maternal competence in Taiwanese women.

Learning Objective 2: find the predictors of initial maternal competence and its growth in Taiwanese women.

Purpose: Maternal role attainment is a complicated developmental process. The majority of women achieved maternal identity by 4 months after giving birth. However, there are limited studies about maternal role attainment in Taiwanese women. The purpose of this study is to explore the trajectory of maternal competence in Taiwanese women.

Methods: A prospective, longitudinal design was used. A convenience sample of Taiwanese women was recruited from two obstetric hospitals in Southern Taiwan during their postpartum hospitalization and followed-up at 1, 4, 8, and 12 months after giving birth. Data were collected through mailed structured questionnaires: Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, Maternal Confidence Questionnaires, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, Sense of Mastery Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors, Dyadic Adjustment Scale, and Demographic Data Form. A latent growth curve modeling was applied by using Amos 16.0.

Results: A total of 112 women were included in the analysis. The results suggested that women’s perceived competence of their maternal role increased from 1 week to 8 months postpartum, and remained stable to 1 year postpartum. The results suggested that parity and marital relationship both had strong effects (.34 and .33, respectively) on the initial status of perceived maternal competence and moderate effects (.12 and .10, respectively) on the growth of maternal competence. In addition, initial locus of control and maternal confidence both had strong effects on the initial status of perceived maternal competence (.60 and .24, respectively) and on the growth of maternal competence (-.38 and .25, respectively). These four variables accounted for 76% and 18%, respectively, in initial status and its growth in maternal competence.

Conclusion: The results suggested parity, maternal confidence, locus of control, and marital relationship affected the development of maternal competence. Taiwanese mothers achieved their maternal role attainment at 8 months postpartum.