Exploring the Role of Playfulness, Social Support and Self Esteem in Coping with the Transition to Motherhood
Cavanaugh, Anne Fenton
Hoffman, Mary Ann
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First time parenthood is a major transition in the lives of many young adults, and can lead to both positive and negative outcomes in terms of marital satisfaction and individual adjustment. New mothers are particularly at risk for declines in satisfaction and adjustment as they are often the primary caregivers. The current study examined the coping processes of 197 women in their first year of motherhood. Playfulness, social support and self esteem were examined as possible personal resources during this transition. Data were collected using a web based survey and analyzed with cluster and correlational analyses. Results suggested postpartum adjustment is unrelated to relationship satisfaction. Additionally, while the variables of interest, particularly playfulness, predicted a large amount of variance in relationship satisfaction, they only predicted a small amount of variance in postpartum adjustment. These findings will help counseling psychologists develop and implement interventions to help new mothers in this transition.