Psychological Challenges of Transition to Parenthood in First-time Parents

Somayeh Seyed Karimi, Department of Psychology and Education Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Khatam University, Tehran, Iran., Anahita Khodabakhshi-Koolaee, Mohammad Reza Falsafinejad, Department of Psychology and Education Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Khatam University, Tehran, Iran., Department of Assessment and Measurement, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.
2021 Practice in Clinical Psychology  
Objective: The birth of the first child and the couple's transition to parenthood can significantly change individuals' marital life. Accordingly, this study aimed to identify psychological challenges to transition to parenthood in first-time parents. Methods: The study employed a qualitative approach based on the content analysis method. The research population included all first-time parents who were referred to the Amjadieh Khaghani Community Counseling Center in District 7 of Tehran City,
more » ... an, from May to August 2020. Besides, the studied couples had a child aged <4 years old. The study participants were 17 couples (n=34 subjects) who were selected using the purposive sampling technique and based on the theoretical saturation criterion. The required data were collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with the research participants. The interviews were recorded, then transcribed verbatim. eventually, after the extraction, the obtained data were coded and categorized using a content analysis method in MAXQDA. Results: Analyzing the obtained data revealed that the transition to parenthood can typically be considered either a positive or negative experience. The most serious challenges faced by couples in the transition to parenthood included ambiguity and changes in the spousal role; duality and conflict in the motherhood role; feeling restricted and prevented from pursuing personal goals; psychological and emotional support from the family and husband; parenting disagreements; changes in sexual relations; fear of the failure to financially support the child; dissatisfaction with the appearance and weight change, and differences in parenting practices. The core theme was the transition to parenthood; from couples to parents. Conclusion: Transition to parenthood seems to be a vital change in the lives of couples; thus, some measures are required to prepare couples for such a transition. The insights from this study can help family counselors, midwives, and family nurses to develop and hold training and preparation programs for couples; such services should be provided to the couples before experiencing parenthood. This could prepare parents for the challenges of their new life.
doi:10.32598/jpcp.9.2.758.1 fatcat:c5acylspdra2zc7x7pfukw6niy