Self-efficacy in the transition to parenthood: A closer look at general self-efficacy

Author: Nicole A. Marsden & Dhara T. Meghani

Author title:
Nicole A. Marsden, Trauma Therapist and Clinical Psychologist, Chicago Child Trauma Center, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, USA
Dhara T. Meghani, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology PsyD Program, School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco, USA

Description: General self-efficacy is a motivating factor for action in the face of new and complex tasks, and this construct has been extended to feelings of efficaciousness in the transition to parenting (parental self- efficacy). Research on the relationship between an individual’s general self-efficacy and their parental self-efficacy is limited. The present study was part of a doctoral dissertation and utilized a longitudinal and dyadic design to examine the relationship between general self-efficacy, parental self-efficacy, and mental health across the transition to parenthood among 24 heterosexual couples becoming parents
for the first time. Results indicated that prenatal general self-efficacy predicted postnatal parental self- efficacy and that postnatal parental self-efficacy predicted postnatal anxiety and depression. This research provides considerations for further research and interventions aimed at boosting general self-efficacy for expecting parents as one way of promoting parental wellbeing in the postpartum.

Keywords: general self-efficacy, parental self-efficacy, transition to parenthood, mental health, web-based prenatal education, access to health records, parent education programmes, CBT, adoptive parents

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