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Parenting stress is significant for fathers, especially for first-time fathers. High levels of parenting stress affect the physical and mental health of first-time fathers as well as their child. The purpose of this descriptive correlational research was to explore the relationships between marital relationship, fatigue, and parenting stress among first-time fathers. The participants were 85 first-time fathers who have a child aged 4 - 6 weeks, who took their wives to a postpartum check-up and family planning department at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital and family planning department at Health Promotion Center Region 1 between May and August 2018. The participants were selected according to the inclusion criteria. The research instruments consisted of 1) Demographic Form of first-time fathers and their wives, 2) Dyadic Adjustment Scale by Spanier, Thai version by Charuwan Chuppawa, 3) The Modified Fatigue Symptoms Checklist by Pugh, Milligan, Parks, Lenz and Kitzman, Thai version by Theerakulchai, and 4) Parenting Stress scale by Berry and Jones, Thai version by Wannaphon Khampila, Bungorn Supavititpatana, and Nonglak Chaloumsuk. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product moment correlation were used to analyze the data.
The results revealed that 1) 50.59% of first-time fathers had a good level of marital relationship with a mean score of 3.84 (S.D. = .51) 2) 77.65% of first-time fathers had a low level of fatigue with a mean score of 51.06 (S.D. = 13.86) 3) 82.35% of first-time fathers had a low level of parenting stress with a mean score of 35.88 (S.D. = 9.75) 4) Marital relationship had a statistically significant moderate negative correlation with parenting stress among first-time fathers. (r = -.42, p < .01) and 5) Fatigue had a statistically significant moderate positive correlation with parenting stress among first-time fathers. (r = .33, p < .01).
The results of this study can be used as baseline data in developing strategies to reduce parenting stress by promoting
marital relationship and reducing fatigue in first-time fathers.