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Preparation for parenthood: a concept analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Georgette Spiteri, Dr Debbie Carrick-Sen, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD


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Objective: This article reviewed the literature and critically analysed the concept of preparation for parenthood. The analysis is mainly of a discursive nature with some theoretical underpinnings. Background: Preparation for parenthood is a concept that is generally used within psychology, sociology and health professional practice especially midwifery, in terms of preparation for birth and parenthood sessions. However, parents often report feeling unprepared during this period. In order to ensure appropriate delivery of support and education during this time it is important to fully understand what preparation for parenthood really means by unravelling its component elements and understanding its contemporary relevance. Methods: A number of sources were searched using the keywords 'preparation' and 'parenthood'. The concept analysis framework put forward by Walker and Avant was used to develop appropriate cases to further illustrate and explore meaning. Results: The literature search confirmed limited evidence with regards to an in-depth exploration of the concept and the separate elements that are related to each other. This investigation is the first of its kind considering the full range of meanings with regards to the concept and the contemporary evidence available. Law, gender, culture and spirituality all influence the concept and thus antecedents and consequences cannot always be applied to contexts which are fundamentally different. Conclusion: Preparation for parenthood is multi-faceted and changing, thus further research with regards to this concept is warranted. This analysis provides the groundwork for the development of measures that may be used within clinical practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Spiteri G, Xuereb RB, Carrick-Sen D, Kaner E, Martin CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

Year: 2014

Volume: 32

Issue: 2

Pages: 148-162

Print publication date: 01/01/2014

Online publication date: 06/01/2014

Acceptance date: 22/11/2013

ISSN (print): 0264-6838

ISSN (electronic): 1469-672X

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2013.869578


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