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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From Maiden to Mother: A Qualitative Study of Contemporary Transformations
by Evans, Michelle L., Psy.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2020, 155; 28029705
Abstract (Summary)

The literature on new mothers speaks to the common experiences of women including their personal reflections, interpersonal patterns, and the collective influence of society on her experience of motherhood (Besser & Priel, 2001; 2003; Churchill & Davis, 2010; Coo, Milgrom & Trinder, 2014). It suggests that surviving the vulnerability of motherhood is connected to a woman’s developing identity, ability to manage fear and demands, having necessary resources, and having faith in herself and others (Akerjordet & Severinsson, 2010). Contemporary women are increasingly utilizing social media for support (O’Connor & Madge, 2004), leading to a greater collective influence on expectations of motherhood and amplifying archetypal elements of the Mother image (Jung, 1977; Neumann, 1972). Utilizing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009), this dissertation illuminates the transformative experience of contemporary women when they became mothers. The findings reflect that new mothers undergo pervasive changes to their interior and exterior worlds which could result in emotional distress. These findings highlight the need for new mothers to have secure relationships which can serve as a protective factor against emotional distress and promote individuation of the mother. Further findings revealed that many contemporary women do not experience supportive relationships however; new mothers who benefited from supportive relationships described the experience as a positive transformation. The results of the study express the deeply transformative experience of becoming a mother and provide insight into clinical implications for treatment of women who experience psychological distress as new mothers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rohde-Brown, Juliet
Commitee: Rohde-Brown, Juliet, Weiser, Lee, Marks-Tarlow, Terry
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Anxiety, Depression, Mothers, Post-partum, Psychotherapy
Publication Number: 28029705
ISBN: 9798662488397
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