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Title: Identity and the transition to motherhood in first time mothers
Author: Yeates, Natasha Rachel Maria.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2004
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This qualitative study explored the period of transition around having a child, during which women develop an identity as a mother within the wider context of a relational matrix. A comprehensive review of the literature highlighted the need to consider a view of self that is not unified or rational. The literature also emphasised the need to maintain mothers in a relational context. Stern's (1998) Motherhood Constellation was focused on to provide a framework for considering identity change with regard to relational aspects involving both the social world and intrapsychic phenomena. This study investigated the experiences of 6 first time mothers who, when approached by their Health Visitor about taking part, volunteered in order to share their experiences of becoming a competent mother with other women. A narrative approach based on Hollway and Jefferson's (2000) free association narrative interview technique was used to look at the way the women narrated their experiences, attending to intra-psychic phenomena within a sociocultural context. The main findings of the study were that the women narrated their experiences of change in terms of continuity and discontinuity of self and relationships, involving conscious and unconscious processes. This occurred within the wider context of a relational matrix featuring intimate relationships and others in the social world. This both pre-dated this period of transition and was anticipated to extend into the future. Implications for clinical practice and future research are explored and quality issues are appropriately discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available