, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 53-62

Parenting Competency Across Pregnancy and Postpartum Among Urban Minority Women

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Taking a life-course perspective, we explored the sense of parenting efficacy during the pregnancy-postpartum transition among a group under-represented in much of adult developmental research, minority women. Our intent was to describe the women's report of parenting competency in a major life transition occurring within the context of an impoverished urban environment. We also explored associations with depression, social support, and life events. One hundred and eighty-two African-American and Hispanic mothers at community health centers in low-income urban areas completed measures early in the third trimester and again at 3 months postpartum. Across time, the levels of reported parental efficacy and satisfaction increased while depressive symptoms decreased. Negative life events and levels of depressive symptomatology differentially influenced women's experience of parenting satisfaction and efficacy feelings before and after their babies were born.