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Discussion

As described previously, research has shown that stress affects humans negatively, decreasing their ability to cope with life events. The purpose of this research study was to find correlations between mother-infant touch and resiliency. We hypothesized that a more positive perception and more frequent use of touch would result in a higher level of resiliency in mothers of children less than 1 year of age. Surprisingly, results showed no correlations between resiliency and mother-infant touch. However, scores on the RS-14 suggested that Hispanic mothers of infants less than 1 year old are more resilient than Non-Hispanic mothers of the same. It also indicated a linear trend between age and scores on the RS-14.

This research study analyzed numerous variables. One concept under investigation was whether the number of children a mother has influences her resiliency. Although R-squared analysis deemed this information insignificant, a linear correlation suggested that resiliency is higher among mothers less than 24 years of age than mothers over 24 years old. One could hypothesize that younger mothers feel more resilient than older mothers.

One research study, which utilized the RS-14, investigated the effects of age on resiliency. In a sample of rural/frontier residents (76 women and 17 men with a mean age of 40), the participants' mean score on the RS-14 was 78.6. Per scoring guidelines of the RS-14, a score ranging from 74-81 is considered a moderate level of resilience. In another study, 41 adolescent mothers (mean age 20.0) had a mean score of 146.6 on the RS. A score ranging from 145-160 on the RS is considered a moderately high level of resilience (Wagnild, 2011). These results correlate with the findings of this research study, as the mean score on the RS-14 of participants >25 years old was lower than that of younger participants.

It is also interesting to analyze inconsistencies between the results of this research study and others. The majority of other research studies outlined in the Resiliency Scale User's Guide (2011) found an increase in scores on the RS and RS-14 with increases in age. For instance, a study involving resilience of pregnant adolescents and non-adolescents found that adolescents scored lower on the RS-14 than the latter. This is the reverse of the findings in this research study (Wagnild, 2011). This is the first time the author could identify that the RS-14 has been used in a group of mothers in the first year postpartum, which could also account for some variance. Factors outlined in the limitations section below may have influenced the results.

After separating participants based on age (25), a linear trend was detected between the T1 survey scores of mothers aged 25 years or less and resiliency scores for same. These results suggested that mothers age 25 years or less actually scored higher on the RS-14 than mothers over 25 years old. However, as described in the results section, the R-squared statistic suggested that there is no correlation. This can be interpreted to mean that there are several other factors outside what is being tested in T1 that contribute significantly to resiliency.

Findings also suggest that Hispanic mothers of infants < 1 year of age are more resilient than non-Hispanic mothers of the same. However, with only 14 and 16 data points in each group, it is hard to say whether this is true for the underlying populations or randomness occurring in a small sample.

There are many more variables and a plethora of avenues for research regarding this finding alone. To determine whether findings can be generalized, further research is needed with a larger sample size, with individuals from a broader geographic area. Researchers should consider cultural influences among Hispanic populations, looking for differences that make this group more resilient than the rest. It could be related to social support systems, family culture, or even physiological variances of the group or results with a larger sample could confirm that there are no differences.

Limitations >>