Experiences from conception to age six have the most important influence of any time in the life

Sarah Stephens

Graduate Student

  • Program: Master of Nursing

IMPROVING ADOLESCENT MATERNAL SELF-ESTEEM AND MOTHER-INFANT INTERACTIONS THROUGH KEYS TO CAREGIVING

ABSTRACT

Using a quasi-experimental posttest only design, this pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of the Keys to Caregiving program, implemented as part of perinatal education, aimed at improving adolescent maternal self-esteem and mother-infant interactions, and examined the relationship between these two variables. The sample was comprised of healthy first-time mothers aged 14 to 19 years (N=12) and their infants. Intervention group participants (n=6) were recruited from a hospital where the program is part of perinatal education, and comparison group participants (n=6) from a hospital where the program is not utilized. Controlling for covariates of social support and postpartum depression, numerous trends and both statistically and clinically significant group differences were found favouring the intervention group. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between maternal self-esteem and mother-infant interactions. The Keys to Caregiving program has the potential to improve adolescent mothers' maternal self-esteem and mother-infant interactions.