Characteristics of effective peer mentorship for primiparous mothers: Qualitative findings from a peer support program

Law, Kwok Hong, Jackson, Ben, Guelfi, Kym, Nguyen, Thinh, Bennett, Elaine, Tan, Xuan Hui, Muller, Jessica, Sharouni, Taylor-Jane, Barkin, Jennifer, and Dimmock, James (2022) Characteristics of effective peer mentorship for primiparous mothers: Qualitative findings from a peer support program. In: [Presented at the Psychological Science and Wellbeing Conference 2022]. From: Psychological Science and Wellbeing Conference 2022, 4-5 March 2022, Singapore and Online.

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The early days of motherhood can be challenging, especially for first-time mothers. These challenges can predispose women to maternal distress, and social support—such as that offered by peers—can be important in assisting mothers to manage such distress. While existing research has identified that first time mothers often seek for and value peer support programs (e.g., practical advice, not feeling alone), few researchers have investigated factors that contribute to successful peer support and mentorship for primiparous women. Insight into these factors can be key to enhancing the success of future peer support interventions. Thematic analysis was applied to thirty-six semi structured interviews conducted with fourteen primiparous mothers and seventeen peer mentors in a peer support program. Four key factors were identified and included: expectations about the peer mentor relationship, independence of peer mentor (i.e., not part of the mother’s immediate circle of friend or family), nature of contact between primiparous mothers and peer mentors (e.g., frequency, content of conversation), and similarities between primiparous mothers and peer mentors (e.g., pregnancy and parenting experience, personality, beliefs).

This study adds to existing research on factors that contribute to building successful peer mentor relationships for primiparous women. The identification of additional factors that influence peer mentor relationships, and the interplay between those factors appear important in the formulation of support networks for first time mothers. To encourage successful peer support relationships, future intervention developers need to understand the dynamics between these factors and their influence on successful relationships in a peer support context.

Item ID: 76951
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2022 02:12
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520501 Community psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200509 Women's and maternal health @ 50%
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