Parental competences in fathers and mothers of very‐low‐birth‐weight preterm infants. By: Jiménez‐Luque, Natalia; Benavente‐Fernández, Isabel; Ruiz‐González, Estefanía; Lubián‐López, Simón and Sánchez‐Sandoval, Yolanda. 2024. Family Relations. Vol. 73 Issue 2, p623-644.

Objective: The goal was to analyze parental competences in Spanish families with very‐low‐birth‐weight infants (≤32 weeks and/or less 1500 g) over 18 months of corrected age. Background: Parenting in families of very preterm infants is an interesting focus of research as we advance in the knowledge of how parental competences can have an important impact on child development. Method: Sixty‐eight mothers and 56 fathers completed measures of parental competences, sociofamily risk, parental stress, social support, andemotional symptoms. Clinical characteristics and neonatal medical risk data were collected after birth. Statistical analyses were performed to compare parental competences with those of mothers and fathers of non‐preterm infants. Generalized estimating equations were used for analysis, adjusted by family unit. Results: Mothers and fathers of preterm infants score higher in most dimensions of parental competences compared to a control group. Focusing on the preterm population, mothers score higher than fathers in daily involvement and mentalization and lower in parental self‐care. When studied separately, we found different scores for fathers and mothers in parental competences (sociofamily risk, parental stress, social support, and emotional symptoms). Conclusion: Parents of preterm infants present better parental competences than parents of non‐preterm infants when their children reach 18 months of age. It is important to consider the differences in parental competences between the mothers and fathers of these children. Implications: Our findings suggest the need to address parental competences to develop preventive and adaptive strategies in parents of preterm infants to promote positive parenting.