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Preparation for Parenthood: A Concept Analysis

Spiteri, G., Xuereb, R.B., Carrick-Sen, D., Kaner, E., & Martin, C.R. (2014). Preparation for parenthood: A concept analysis. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 32(2), 148-165.


Concept analysis to develop a more in-depth understanding of preparation for parenthood in order to be able to inform the care and support offered by health professionals, with the aim of providing a grounding that can support further research.

Design: Literature Review

Limitations Not available.


  1. Preparation for parenthood is a life-long process that generally involves:
    • A readiness to take up a responsibility to bring up and nurture a child
    • A waiting period in anticipation of the arrival of a child which is then followed by parenting-in-action during the various parenting stages
    • Organizing oneself to become receptive to change and financially ready for this responsibility
    • Resilience as it often requires individuals to let go of previous lifestyles while adapting to a new one
  2. The critical attributes that appear to apply to all instances of preparation for parenthood are:
    • It is a process which involves organizing one’s self: psychologically, ‘spiritually’, physically and materialistically.
    • It is time and gender specific.
    • It is affected by societal and cultural expectations.
    • It involves an ongoing commitment that entails resilience and is at times challenging.
    • It involves a process of growth and adaptation.
  3. Indicators of appropriate preparation for parenthood may include:
    • Assessments and adaptation of lifestyle to optimize the outcome
    • Psychological aspects such as parental readiness, commitment and self-reorganization
    • Sociological indicators for ‘preparation for parenthood’ which include material preparation and financial stability
    • Spiritual indicators of ‘preparation for parenthood’ which may include spiritual practice
    • Cultural indicators of the concept may take the form of gender-specific parenting practice and values
  4. The article adds to the evidence and may inform future research and discussion. Due to ongoing societal and cultural changes it may be necessary to review the concept in the future.