Kobe Journal of Medical Sciences, 2000
QUALITY OF SOCIAL NETWORK FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN JAPAN WITH FOCUS ON PARITY AND FAMILY STRUCTURE.
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, Kobe University School of Medicine
Kobe J. Med. Sci. 46, 125-136, June 2000
AB: The purpose of this study was to identify 1) the quality of human network of a pregnant woman, and 2) characteristics of a high-risk pregnant woman for motherhood due to the shortage of social support.
We reviewed social network system using a questionnaire: size; nature of relationship with a pregnant woman; duration of relationship with her; frequency of contact with her; and distance from her residence. We also categorized the subjects according to two typical conditions: parity (primigravida or multigravida) and family structure (nuclear or extended). The author interviewed 125 subjects in their final trimester, Living in Narashino City near Tokyo to answer the questionnaires. 117pregnant women agreed and participated in the study.
It was found that our subjects had the social network consisted of the mean size of 9.0 supportive members (SD=1.9), which was similar to that (8.5) reported in the USA by Cronenwett. Our subject perceived her husband and mother most important as supportive members. 10 to 20 old of our subjects perceived husbands' mothers, brothers, and even their friends as non-supportive members. Roughly 40 to 60% of our subjects did not list husbands' fathers, brothers and fathers as network members.
We found that pregnant women in Japan, especially primigravidas and pregnant women belonging to nuclear family, had poor quality of social support network. Pregnant women with poor quality of social network were considered as high risk for emotional and behavioral problems both to mother and child. Therefore, midwives should be able to predict the risk or mental stress in childcare due to shortage of social support. This will avoid child abuse through the establishment of necessary network for isolated mothers.