Mothers' and nurses' perceptions of infant care skills

Res Nurs Health. 1990 Aug;13(4):247-53. doi: 10.1002/nur.4770130407.


New mothers' confidence in their infant care skills are important concerns for maternity nurses. In this study, correlates of mothers' self-efficacy ratings on 52 infant care behaviors included in the Infant Care Scale were identified. Data on demographic variables and nurses' ratings of mothers' skill on five selected tasks were collected from 200 mothers and their nurses. Results from bivariate and multivariate analyses pointed to predictors of maternal feelings of efficacy and to discrepancies between mothers' and nurses' ratings. Maternal age, number of children, and nurses' ratings of mothers' skills were the strongest predictors of self-efficacy for infant care. Mothers of male infants showed slightly lower efficacy perceptions than did mothers of females. Implications for assessing mothers' educational needs before discharge and focusing teaching efforts are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / psychology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Obstetric Nursing
  • Parity
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Social Perception*