News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


First time parenting a positive experience for mental health

Tuesday 22 January 2013

First time parenting a positive experience for mental health

Becoming a parent for the first time may improve mental health and reduce levels of psychological distress, according to a new study from the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW).

That’s the conclusion of research by Sarah McKenzie and Dr Kristie Carter from the Health Inequalities Research Programme at UOW after examining the responses of 6670 parents in the Statistics New Zealand longitudinal Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE).

The study looked at three ‘waves’ of longitudinal data from 2004/05 to 2008/09, and has just been published in the international Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

“This is good news for new parents in New Zealand as it shows the effects of becoming a parent for the first time tends to have a positive effect on parents’ mental health. Whereas, no real impact on mental health was found for parents having subsequent (second, third or fourth) children,” says Ms McKenzie.

“However, it’s important to note the improvements in mental health and psychological distress are positive, but not large in our findings.”

“Interestingly, unlike some overseas studies, we didn’t find any major differences between men and women in changes in mental health and becoming a parent for the first time.”

The researchers say one of the reasons why the University of Otago study differs is it used a large sample (N=6670) of New Zealanders, including both men and women, as well as married, single and co-habiting parents. Previous research has only focused on certain population groups such as first-time mothers or young parents.

The study did not collect information on the intentions of those who became pregnant and whether pregnancies were planned or not so we cannot say exactly why there is an improvement. The study did however take into account partner status, employment status, deprivation and household income, Ms McKenzie says.

Further work is needed examining the impact of changes in socio-economic factors such as income and employment when a child comes along, as often there is a significant decrease in available income.

“At this point international evidence shows it’s very important for welfare policies to support the economic position of new parents to ensure their mental health is supported during this major change to their life and their children,” says Dr Carter.

This study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Architecture:
Ian Athfield Dies In Wellington

New Zealand Institute of Architects: It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand's finest architects, has passed away in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington Production: New-Look Tracy Brothers Are F.A.B.

ITV and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures today released an exclusive preview of the new-look Tracy brothers from this year’s hotly anticipated new series, Thunderbirds Are Go. More>>

ALSO:

Cardinal Numbers:
Pope Francis Names Archbishop From NZ Among New Cardinals

Announcing a list of bishops to be made Cardinals in February Pope Francis named Archbishop John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, overnight from Rome. On hearing the news of the announcement, Archbishop John Dew said "This news is recognition of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the contribution it makes to the global Catholic family." More>>

ALSO:

Nomenclature: Charlotte And Oliver Top Baby Names For 2014

Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names for newborn girls and boys in 2014... The top 100 girls’ and boys’ names make up a small proportion of the more than 12,000 unique first names registered for children born this year, says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriage. More>>

Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news