OBSERVATIONAL AND SELF-REPORTED COPARENTING: ASSOCIATIONS WITH MATERNAL DEPRSSION, HOUSEHOLD CHAOS, & EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY AT 12 MONTHS POST-PARTUM

Open Access
Author:
Bangs, Kaylee B
Area of Honors:
Biobehavioral Health
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Douglas Michael Teti, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lori Anne Francis, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • coparenting
  • maternal depression
  • household chaos
  • emotional availability
Abstract:
Coparenting, “the ways that parents and/or parental figures relate to each other in the role of a parent”, has been shown to be strong predictor of many familial and developmental outcomes (Feinberg 2003, p.27). The study sought to compare the interrelationships between an established self-reported coparenting measure, the Coparenting Relationship Scales (CRS), and a new observational coparenting scale developed by Dr. Douglas Teti’s Project SIESTA II. It additionally sought to compare the relationships between these scales at 12 months post partum and 3 constructs theoretically linked to parenting quality: maternal depression, maternal emotional availability, and household chaos. The present study examined data collected at 12 months post partum by Project SIESTA II (Study of Infants’ Emergent Sleep TraAjectories); an NIH-funded longitudinal study of parenting, infant sleep, and infant development that included a sample of 167 families and their healthy infants recruited from two local rural hospitals in central Pennsylvania. Significant associations were found between self-reported coparenting and positive observed coparenting. Additionally, self reported coparenting significantly correlated with maternal depression, and household chaos. While observed coparenting significantly correlated with emotional availability. For future studies, the relationship between observational and self-reported coparenting along with their relationship with other constructs should be examined further. By increasing the sample size, and studying coparenting across multiple age groups instead of just at 12 months, more conclusive results may be obtained.