The Role of Optimism in Health-Promoting Behaviors in New Primiparous Mothers

Robyn M. Gill, Jennifer Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Perceived stress has been associated with fewer health-promoting behaviors in new primiparous mothers, but less is known about the mechanisms responsible for such effects.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the hypothesis that the relationship between perceived stress and health-promoting behaviors is mediated partially by a primiparous mother's sense of optimism. The transactional model of stress and coping and the model of behavioral self-regulation were used as the theoretical framework for the study.

Methods: An ex post facto cross-sectional design was used for this study. Participants consisted of 174 primiparous mothers who had given birth within the previous 12 months. Participants completed a self-reported online questionnaire consisting of the Perceived Stress Scale, the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II, and the revised Life Orientation Test.

Results: Results indicated that perceived stress predicted less health-promoting behaviors in new primiparous mothers (p < .001). Importantly, this relationship was mediated partially by the optimism displayed by the mother (p < .001).

Conclusions: The findings indicated that optimism partially mediated the relationship between perceived stress and health-promoting behaviors in new primiparous mothers. The implications for psychological practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Research
Volume59
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

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