The objective of this dissertation was to add to the current research literature on the empty nest phenomenon from the perspective of single mothers with Caribbean ancestry. The researcher employed a generic qualitative inquiry research design to answer the research question, “How do single mothers of Caribbean descent experience the empty nest phenomenon?” The sample consisted of nine single mothers who lived alone and experienced an empty nest for at least one year. Data collection occurred through one-on-one interviews based on guiding questions designed to elicit a detailed description of the empty nest experience. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Through thematic analysis with constant comparison, four themes emerged from the data supported by 13 patterns. The results of the study indicated that mothers experienced an emotional response to change which included loneliness, worry, and inner conflict. They also experienced a period of adjustment where they adapted to diminished interactions with their children and living alone. Participants indicated that supportive relationships, such as those with their children, family members, and friends, were a source of strength. Lastly, mothers experienced personal growth through deeper self-understanding, finding renewed purpose in life, and spirituality. These findings confirmed previous research on the topic of the empty nest. It is recommended that future research include analyses of acculturation and cultural influence on this experience.
|Commitee:||Jarvis, Sara, McCaslin, Mark|
|Department:||School of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Caribbean Studies|
|Keywords:||Caribbean, Empty nest, Qualitative, Role identity, Single mothers, Social interactions|
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