The purpose of this dissertation research was to explore the associations between, perceptions of, and patterns within the mother-father relationship and perceived stress among Black pregnant women. The conceptual framework guiding my dissertation research aligned with the Social Ecological Model and my interpretive framework upheld an intersectional, social constructivist positioning. First, I conducted an integrated literature review to identify what is known about the associations of mother-father relationship with perceived stress among pregnant and postpartum women, focusing on Black women in the U.S. This review included sixteen studies, six of which were conducted in the U.S., that reported significant associations of mother-father relationship with perceived stress among pregnant and/or postpartum women; however, data were limited among Black pregnant women. Next, I conducted a secondary analysis using a cross-sectional approach to examine the association of mother-father relationship with perceived stress among Black pregnant women. Women who reported higher levels of conflict and lower levels of involvement, closeness, and support within the mother-father relationship also reported higher levels of perceived stress. Finally, I conducted a secondary analysis using a convergent, mixed methods approach with ideal-type analysis to examine and describe the mother-father relationship and its role in experiences of perceived stress from the perspective of Black pregnant women. Women described unique, patterned experiences of mother-father relationship and perceived stress which emerged as five mother-father relationship typologies: (1) "Cared For," (2) "Managing Expectations," (3) "Just Friends, For the Kids," (4) "It's Complicated," and (5) "Can't be Bothered." This dissertation research adds knowledge related to: (1) associations of mother-father relationship with perceived stress among Black pregnant women; (2) comprehensive measures of mother-father relationship; and (3) an exemplar of ideal-type analysis which expands the discipline of nursing. These contributions inform future nursing research and clinical practice which address disparate health outcomes among this vulnerable population.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Nursing
Nursing; Nursing BSN to PhD
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Wheeler, Jenna, "Mother-Father Relationship and Perceived Stress among Black Pregnant Women: A Mixed Methods Approach" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1739.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2024; it will then be open access.