Developmental Tasks of Pregnancy and Transition to Parenthood

An Approach to Assessment
  • Richard L. Cohen


This chapter embodies two closely related foci. The first involves a presentation of the developmental tasks of pregnancy (especially as they stand out during the first pregnancy). The second describes a conceptual framework and a clinical approach for using such developmental information in assessing the status of the pregnant woman’s assets and liabilities and for developing an action-oriented approach to intervention where that is indicated. The learning of normal function and normal modes of adaptation must have practical application for the clinician and consultant or they will soon be forgotten. Retention of such knowledge is rapidly lost unless it is used on a daily basis in the helping process. It is for this reason that the two foci mentioned before are not presented consecutively in this chapter. Rather, an effort is made to interweave them so that the evolving developmental process of pregnancy is presented as a basis for organizing an interview process that integrates that developmental model. This is particularly important during pregnancy because the eliciting of isolated behavioral phenomena through unstructured interviewing or, conversely, highly structured rating scales may mislead the examiner into exaggerating the importance of an isolated episode. The context in which such behavior occurs during pregnancy is all important.


Child Rear Developmental Task Interview Excerpt Spousal Relationship Expectant Father 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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