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Midwifery. 2012 Apr;28(2):222-7. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2011.01.004. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Chinese family adaptation during the postpartum period and its influencing factors: A questionnaire survey.

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Peking University School of Nursing, #38 Xueyuan Road, Hai Dian District, Beijing, PR China.



this study aimed to explore new parents' views and experiences during their transition to parenthood.


in China the one-child birth policy may bring more stress and challenges for the new parents due to the lack of experience and greater expectations of their new role. China is also at a stage of rapid economic and social development which creates new conditions for parenthood.


a cross-sectional survey was conducted from February to September 2009 among 232 mothers and fathers, yielding a 83.6% response rate (n=194 couples). The questionnaire included: the Family Assessment Device-General Function Scale, the Family Resources Scale, the Family Adaptation Scale, and the Chinese Perceived Stress Scale.


there were no significant differences between mothers' adaptation and fathers' adaptation during the postpartum period, as well as their perceived stress, family function and family resources (p>0.05). Method of childbirth was not related to adaptation. About 29% of variance in mothers' adaptation could be explained by satisfaction with the infant's gender (B=0.295, p<0.001), fathers' adaptation (B=0.236, p<0.001), and family resources (B=0.179, p=0.016). About 42% of variance in fathers' adaptation could be explained by mothers' adaptation (B=0.268, p<0.001), satisfaction with marriage (B=0.248, p=0.002), satisfaction with the infant's gender (B=0.209, p<0.007), and family resources (B=0.206, p=0.002).


this study highlights the importance of family resources to family adaptation and antenatal and postnatal education programmes as part of family-centred care. The possible influences of culture and policies need to be considered by health-care professionals developing strategies to facilitate family adaptation to the early parenthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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