2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Jennifer Weaver


This study, including 60 primiparous mothers, analyzed whether personality traits predicted post-partum parenting stress and maternal self-efficacy. The Big Five Inventory measured personality traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience (John & Srivastava, 1999) prenatally. The Parental Efficacy Questionnaire (Leerkes and Crockenberg, 2003) assessed maternal self-efficacy at 3 and 6 months, and total scores were averaged across timepoints. Two subscales of the Abindin Parenting Stress Index analyzed stress and maladaptive parenting. Role restriction aimed to detect lifestyle barriers resulting from parenthood, and sense of competence aimed to detect parenting ignorance and dysfunction (Piskernik et al., 2019). Subscale scores were averaged across 3- and 6-month timepoints.

Regression results found a positive relationship between conscientiousness and self-efficacy and between neuroticism and parenting stress. Trend results suggested a relationship between agreeableness and self-efficacy and between conscientiousness and lower parenting stress. Results of this research suggest personality may contribute to parents' well-being and sense of efficacy during the transition to parenthood. Particularly, neuroticism, conscientiousness and agreeableness seem to be important factors to consider in understanding parents' adjustment to their new role. Practitioners working with new mothers may benefit from understanding the role that personality factors may play in mothers' well-being post-partum.



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