Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Frerichs, Marian

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Nursing


Cesarean section; Fathers--Psychology


The purpose of this study was to describe differences in first-time fathers’ perceptions of the unplanned cesarean birth experience based on prenatal preparation for cesarean birth and presence at the birth. The crisis theory model served as the conceptual framework for the investigation. According to this model, the perception of the birth may be an important variable in the adaptation to fatherhood. The DuBois Paternal Perception of Birth Scale (DPPBS), a 30-item Likert-type scale, was developed by the researcher to measure first-time fathers' perceptions of the cesarean birth. Face validity of this instrument was established prior to pilot testing. The reliability coefficient (Cronbach's alpha) is .78. A demographic data sheet was also developed for use in this study. The sample for this descriptive ex post facto study consisted of 40 first-time fathers whose wives had healthy, full-term infants delivered by unplanned cesarean delivery. The fathers completed the DPPBS and the demographic data sheet between 24 and 72 hours after the unplanned cesarean birth. The null hypotheses were tested at the .05 significance level with Jt-tests. The data were further analyzed with one-way analyses of variance with a significance level of .05. The results indicate that 1) among first-time fathers who did not attend the unplanned cesarean birth, there was no significant difference in perception of the birth between fathers who attended prenatal cesarean birth class and those who did not attend class; and 2) among first-time fathers who attended prenatal cesarean birth class, there was no significant difference in perception of the unplanned cesarean birth between fathers who were present for the cesarean birth and those who were not present for the birth. Additional findings suggested that 1) fathers of male infants have more positive perceptions of the birth than fathers of female infants; and 2) the provision of support and information by the health care team appears to positively influence the perception of the birth event by the first-time father.


Bibliography: pages [61]-65.


v, 86 pages




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