The role mothers play is arguably one of the most influential and imperative factors in defining the family dynamic and child development, however the scholarship on the maternal experience remains sparse. Much of the focus on motherhood has been in the context of the intensive motherhood ideology, which posits that societal expectations place unrealistic demands on mothers. Little is known about the modern normative experience of motherhood, and therefore the focus of this project is to gain a socio-demographic understanding of the maternal experience for women in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
As part of a province-wide study, 1082 mothers completed an online survey of their socio-demographic characteristics and a variety of motherhood scales. The current study examines some of the unique demographic and social aspects of motherhood in NL including differences between urban and rural populations, family structure, the prevalence of mobile work, and predictors of maternal sense of parental competence. The Circumplex Model of the family emphasizes the importance of cohesion and communication in family functioning, and these factors were considered in the context of understanding maternal sense of parenting competence.
The parenting sense of competence scale (PSOC) was used as the main outcome measure for this study as it assesses how mothers feel about their skill and enjoyment within their parenting role. Two hierarchical multiple regressions aimed at predicting maternal self-efficacy and motherhood satisfaction on the PSOC were conducted using demographic variables, maternal mental health, and family variables in three separate blocks. The significant predictors of PSOC-Efficacy explained 28.1% of the variance and included maternal age, maternal mental health (OQ-45), co-parental communication (closeness), and child parent relationship (conflict and closeness). The predictive model of PSOC-Satisfaction included a number of significant predictors: child health, maternal mental health, and child parent relationship (conflict and closeness), which explained 45.3% of the variance. The results of this study bring forward a portrait of motherhood in NL, and contribute to the growing scholarship on maternal sense of parental competence.
More information about this project can be found here.
Adapted from: https://research.library.mun.ca/14518/