Early Maternal Caregiving Capacities in Highly Vulnerable, Multi-Problem Families

Marije van der Hulst, Rianne Kok, Peter Prinzie, Eric Steegers, L.C.M. Bertens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Caregiving capacities may be an important link between multi-problem circumstances and adverse child development. This study aims to assess caregiving capacities and their correlations in highly vulnerable, multi-problem families in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Caregiving capacity (overall, emotional and instrumental) was prospectively assessed in 83 highly vulnerable women using video-observations of daily caregiving tasks, six week postpartum. Supporting data were collected at three time points: at inclusion, six weeks after inclusion and six weeks postpartum, and these included psychological symptoms, self-sufficiency, problematic life domains, home environment, income, depression, anxiety and stress. Pregnancy- and delivery-related information was collected from obstetric care professionals. Maternal caregiving scores averaged below adequate quality. Mothers living in an unsafe home environment (B = 0.62) and mothers with more problematic life domains (≤3 domains, B = 0.32) showed significantly higher instrumental caregiving capacities. Other variables were not related to caregiving capacities. Caregiving capacity in this highly vulnerable population was below adequate quality. However, in most cases there was no significant association between caregiving and the variables related to vulnerability. This means that a potential association between vulnerability and caregiving capacities might be driven by the interaction between several problems, rather than the type or number of problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16130
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding: This study was supported by the De Verre Bergen Foundation, a philanthropic foundation
that supports innovative ideas and research with a positive impact on the municipality of Rotterdam.

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