Stability of fathers' representations of their infants during the transition to parenthood

C.M.J.M. Vreeswijk, A.J.B.M. Maas, C.H.A.M. Rijk, J. Braeken, H.J.A. van Bakel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Studies investigating fathers' roles in child development have focused on a range of different aspects. However, few studies have focused on the early father-infant relationship, which already emerges before the child is born. The aim of this study is to examine the concordance of fathers' representations of their children during the transition to parenthood. The influences of demographic variables, psychological wellbeing, and personality on the stability of these representations are investigated. At 26 weeks gestational age and when infants were six months old, fathers (N=243) completed questionnaires and the Working Model of the Child Interview during a home visit. A strong association was found between fathers' prenatal and postnatal representations. First-time fathers more often had balanced representations than fathers who already had children. Furthermore, agreeable fathers were more likely to evolve from a non-balanced prenatal representation to a balanced postnatal representation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-306
JournalAttachment & Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • mothers internal representations
  • maternal mental representations
  • postnatal depression scale
  • attachment classifications
  • developmental outcomes
  • prenatal attachment
  • child interview
  • clinical-sample
  • working model
  • associations


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