The purpose of this study was to provide a deeper understanding of the intrapsychic world of the new mother as illuminated through the analysis of her reveries from late pregnancy through the early postnatal period. The primary question explored was: How do we understand the meaning and content of maternal reverie for first time mothers? Six women amidst first-time transformations participated in three semistructured interviews, and were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The results yielded six core themes:
1. Visualization of birth and baby
2. Maternal preoccupation
3. Intergenerational meaning making and projection
4. Me-not-me: The conflicting emotional experience of new motherhood
5. Partnership and the transition from couple to co-parents
6. Felt sense of maternal identity through attunement
These themes led to four primary findings of this study: First, the prominence of visualization, which the study contends is connected to the integration of maternal identity as well as preverbal infant-mother relating. Second, the inescapably intergenerational nature of this transition. Third, emergent motherhood as conflict ridden, relevant to issues of narrative coherence and attunement. And fourth, the role of traumatic events during the transition to motherhood and their influence maternal identity integration.
|Commitee:||Sweet, Michelle, Ammerman, Paula, Schmidt, Erika, Goldberg, Connie|
|School:||Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)|
|Department:||Clinical Social Work|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Maternal reverie, Transition, Motherhood|
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