Delineating parenting competence concepts

Posted on January 30, 2018 by

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We are currently featuring the article titled “Delineating Among Parenting Confidence, Parenting Self-Efficacy, and Competence” by Ashlee J. Vance, MA, RN, RNC-NIC and Debra H. Brandon, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN (avaliable at no cost while it is featured!). Here is a message from Ms. Vance about her work:

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin

 This quote reminds me of how I felt as a new neonatal nurse, of the parents I’ve interacted with in a NICU, and those babies in our care that would surprise you day by day with their will to survive.

 Parent confidence is something all parents strive for; yet, often struggle with due to ongoing self-doubt. Then, if a parent

Ashlee Vance

experiences having a baby who requires hospitalization after birth due to prematurity or a life-threatening diagnosis; how in the world do they gain confidence in the hospital environment? This is my starting point. This question guides how I practiced at the bedside and how I interacted with parents, and how I develop my program of research. In the process of writing this manuscript, I discovered the language to help me describe why I was so passionate being a neonatal researcher. I wanted to understand parent confidence because I believe (and there is research to support) this could lead to happier, healthier parents and babies.

 In this paper, it was important for me to clearly operationalize parent confidence to provide a foundation for the concept itself and identify is as separate from other commonly used terms. With this foundation, we can better understand the current literature to compare results and inform future research.  As I continue to understand this dynamic human process, I foresee future results guiding interventions and strategies to enhance the hospital environment, ultimately impacting infant health and developmental outcomes.