Research Topic: Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping Strategies among Fathers of Newborn Infants
by AigerimBakubatova, Senior Student, Psychology Department
Supervisor: Elena Molchanova, Associate Professor, Psychology Department
The following research will investigate adaptive and maladaptive strategies that fathers of newborn infants employ during the first year of becoming a father. The research will be performed in the settings of the Kyrgyz Republic. Even though the growing body of knowledge has shed a light on the processes underlying the fatherhood, there is a room for further investigation. Specifically, the topic of coping mechanism in the transition to fatherhood is the area that has been neglected. This research aims to fill in this existing gap of knowledge and provide understanding of mechanisms involved in the first year of becoming a father.
Stress level of fathers is a domain of consideration within this research.As fatherhood is a stressful experience, it is necessary to assess the level of stress faced by fathers. Research of stress in the family framework suggests that there are different kinds of stressors and resources to cope with it. Parenthood is a normative stressor, which occurs in most of the families, is expected and has a short-term nature (McCubbin, Joy, Cauble, Comeau, Patterson & Needle, 1980). This implies that stress is a common experience of those, who go through the process.
The process of transition is accompanied by emergence of different behavioral patterns, some of which can be termed as coping strategies. Latter are developed to reduce the level of stress fathers face during the process (Miller &Sollie, 1980). As fatherhood implies change in many spheres of functioning as relationships with a partner, relationship with friends and
relatives, work and occupation (Levine, 1959 in Wente&Crockenberg, 1976; Dribe&Stanfors, 2009;Johnson, 2005), it is important to investigate what kind of behaviors individuals use to adapt to such changes.
The following research will contribute to better understanding of fatherhood. It will study the level of stress experienced by fathers. It will provide description of patterns of behavior of fathers that constitute coping strategies. The design of the research will focus on fathers’ change of usual behaviors, development of new behaviors and their justification of these behaviors. Also, the research will analyze how their wifes or partners evaluate these behavioral patterns on adaptiveness of those strategies to a current situation.
The research has a descriptive and explorative nature. It is expected to find the level of stress of fathers and if it is correlated with the particular adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies. Also, the research will investigate and describe different coping strategies of fathers.