Supporting the transition to parenthood: a systematic review of empirical studies on emotional and psychological interventions for first-time parents

Lee Barel Refaeli*, Mariana Rodrigues, Annaliese Neaman, Nina Bertele, Yair Ziv, Anat Talmon, Yael Enav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The transition to parenthood can evoke a range of concerns in parents, profoundly impacting their psychological well-being. The literature regarding the transition to parenthood focuses primarily on functional aspects of parenthood, generally overlooking the psychological well-being of parents. Method: This comprehensive review synthesized studies describing emotional and psychological interventions during the transition to parenthood among participants between 2013 and 2022. A rigorous screening process, conducted by three of the authors, resulted in 18 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Results: This report provides detailed descriptions of these studies, including their characteristics, demographics, types of interventions, and main outcomes. The majority of interventions focused on mothers and mother-infant dyads, with fewer interventions targeting couples, and none addressing fathers or father-infant dyads. Conclusions: The interventions examined were found to be effective in reducing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and stress among mothers and had positive effects on infants’ behaviors, mother-infant synchrony, and co-parenting. Practice implications: This review stresses the necessity of interventions targeting the transition to parenthood, especially among fathers and marginalized populations, as well as serves to identify barriers faced by vulnerable and minority populations.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number108090
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • First-time fathers
  • First-time mothers
  • First-time parents
  • Parenthood
  • Primiparas
  • Psychological interventions
  • Transition to parenthood

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