LEVEL OF OBJECT RELATIONS AND MARITAL ADJUSTMENT INFLUENCING PARENTS' CHOICE OF CHILDBIRTH PROCEDURE (OBSTETRICS)

SAUL LOUIS HANDLERS, Fordham University

Abstract

This study was designed to improve the understanding of the factors that influenced a couple's choice of childbirth procedure for their first child. It was hypothesized that parents who chose prepared childbirth (PCB), with its emphasis on marital cooperation and active participation, would have higher levels of object relations and marital adjustment than those who chose the traditional childbirth procedure (TCB) with its reliance on the obstetrical use of anesthesia and instrumentation.^ All of the 30 couples in the PCB group and none of the 30 couples in the TCB group attended Lamaze classes. All subjects were married, between 21 and 30 years old, had completed high school, lived in the Danbury, Connecticut area, were Caucasian, reported no history of psychiatric hospitalizations and the expectant mothers were in their third trimester of pregnancy. There were no significant differences in ages, number of years of schooling completed, number of years married and socioeconomic status. No expectant mothers were included if they required specialized childbirth procedure because of known medical preconditions.^ The level of object relations was judged using the Krohn Object Representation Scale applied to the manifest content of a dream submitted by 110 of the 120 subjects. The degree of marital adjustment was measured by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), a self-administered questionnaire.^ The results supported the hypothesis that the PCB group would have significantly greater marital adjustment. The PCB group did not have a higher level of object relations. There was no significant association between the level of object relations and the degree of marital adjustment. For PCB spouses only, there was a significant association between husbands' and wives' levels of object relations. Also, there was a significant association between PCB spouses on four DAS subscales, satisfaction, cohesion, affection and total adjustment whereas TCB spouses were significantly associated on one, total marital adjustment. Both groups responded to questions in a way that minimized marital differences.^ The findings may suggest that, in this middle class sample, the choice of PCB, heretofore not considered capricious behavior, may now be more related to the trendiness of childbirth preparation because of its current popularity. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

HANDLERS, SAUL LOUIS, "LEVEL OF OBJECT RELATIONS AND MARITAL ADJUSTMENT INFLUENCING PARENTS' CHOICE OF CHILDBIRTH PROCEDURE (OBSTETRICS)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8506331.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8506331

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