Transition to parenthood involves the fine balance of family dynamics which both affect, and are affected by, the infant's temperament. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in family dynamics over the transition to parenthood and the relationship of family dynamics to infant temperament. A sample of 99 families in Odense, Denmark, completed the Family Dynamics Measure in the third trimester of pregnancy and again when the infant was 8-9 months old. At this second time, the mothers also completed the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire. Overall we found small changes, although always in a negative direction, in family dynamics over this transition. The largest change was an increase in perceived role conflict reported by both mothers and fathers. Mothers reported more role conflict than fathers. Positive family dynamics were related to infant rhythmicity.
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 1994, Vol 8, Issue 1, p. 9-15
family dynamics; infant temperament; transition to parenthood