Women undergo many changes associated with pregnancy, both biological and psychological. The focus of this study was to explore the construction of motherhood identity by teen mothers. Specifically I explored how pregnant teens narrate and perform motherhood in a Teen Mother and Child Program. Data were gathered using observation, informal and formal interviews, and field notes. Narrative analysis and the Burkean Pentad were used to analyze these data.
Teens were cast a supporting cast members by the omnipresent narrator in the Teen Mother and Child Program, the certified nurse-midwives (CNM). The positioning of cast members was performed by the CNMs and not challenged by teen mothers and often supported in their position of power by the teen mothers and their support people. The star of the narrative in the clinic was the unborn child.
In the personal narratives, from in-depth interviews, the teen mothers told stories of change, in three acts. The three acts are labeled, The Test, The Loss of My Body, and In My Arms. The cast members were similar but arranged in different positions of lead and supporting roles. Teen mothers cast themselves as the lead throughout the three acts of their narratives. The casting illuminated a disconnect between the clinic and the personal narratives of teen mothers. The implications to nurses and nurse-midwives abound and include the need to understand how teen mothers position themselves in the construction of their own mother identity.
|Advisor:||Cloyes, Kristin G.|
|Commitee:||Clark, Lauren, Frost, Caren, Hardin, Pamela, Kelly, Diane|
|School:||The University of Utah|
|School Location:||United States -- Utah|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Identity theory, Teen mothers|
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