Infant temperament and maternal well-being: the mediating role of maternal psychological need satisfaction and need frustration

Turunç, Gamze
The current research is one of the first studies focusing on well-being of parents of infants aging between 10-13 months in relation to basic psychological needs in a frame of Self-Determination Theory. In this frame, mother’s psychological need satisfaction and need frustration in different domains (autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs) were examined as explaining mechanisms. This study aimed to examine the relations between infant temperament, maternal basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration and maternal psychological well-being. Two hundred and twenty-one mothers living in Turkey, with their children aging between 10-13 months participated in the study. Mothers were asked to report their infant’s temperament, their need satisfaction and frustration and their own psychological well-being. It was expected both need satisfaction and need frustration will significantly mediate the associations between infant temperament and different maternal psychological well-being outcomes. Results showed that as expected both psychological need satisfaction and need frustration mediated the associations between different temperamental aspects of infant and psychological well-being outcomes of the mother. However, for positive well-being, need satisfaction and need frustration were almost equally successful in mediating the associations while, for distress of mother, only need frustration mediated the associations between infant temperamental characteristics and the outcome variable. Study results suggested that for the future interventions for new mothers who are in risk of post-partum depression and stress, it may be a beneficial option to focus on reducing mothers’ thwarted needs instead of solely focusing on increasing mothers’ need satisfaction. 


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Citation Formats
G. Turunç, “Infant temperament and maternal well-being: the mediating role of maternal psychological need satisfaction and need frustration,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.